The Grade II listed house on Lovelace Avenue was built by Birmingham architect Ross Harper of Yorke, Harper and Harvey for himself. The practice was noted modernists and built over 50 homes within the West Midlands, many of which were influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright.
These influences are clearly seen at 79 Lovelace Avenue, which translates Frank Lloyd Wright’s early-C20 ‘Prairie’ houses to the English Midlands with highly effective horizontality pronounced through the massing and materials, a plan featuring central hearth, ‘car-port’, and a clear relationship to the garden, and distinctively-detailed brick, timber and glass.
After three unsuccessful attempts by the owners to first demolish and then extend the property, we were tasked with creating a scheme that would be acceptable to the planners that fulfilled the client’s requirements of additional space and better thermal performance throughout and particularly from the frameless corner opening windows on the first floor.
After a careful examination of the possible options and following consultation meetings with the 20th Century Society we proposed a sensitive extension from the rear of the property an area that we have identified was curtailed in its scope from the original planning permission. The design of the extension was heavily influenced by both the existing building and other examples of Yorke, Harper and Harveys houses in the local area.
It’s an area that has primarily been left blank with few features of Architectural importance or significance, and finally, by extending in this area, we minimised the impacts on the critical views of architectural interest from Lovelace Avenue. Our proposal was coupled with the reinstatement of the garden wall that was originally intended to run horizontally across the site with a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired gate creating a visual link through to the garden behind.
We’ve proposed to replace the single glazing throughout with high-performance 12.7mm double glazed units and up-rated wall and roof insulation where possible. The scheme was submitted for planning in early June, and we hope to receive a positive planning result in mid-August.
Heritage Consultant – Jon Lowe Heritage