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Aug 2014

BPN Architects on the vision for The School Yard residential in Harborne

“To produce a pastiche of the original buildings would have diminished the originals and diluted their brilliance.

To differentiate between those building elements which contain the living accommodation and those parts which make up the circulation spaces, we have lifted the homes off the ground so that they float as two matt black boxes over the ground floor, which is clad in contrasting red-brown coloured timber. The boxes have then been pulled apart to create an open walkway.

Windows in walls generally appear black or dark grey when viewed during the day. This can help add interest to an elevation, can produce rhythms and movement, but it can also weaken a strong form. In this case we wanted the windows to be as invisible as possible within the overall composition and to blend in with the walls which surround them, so we selected the black zinc as the ideal cladding material. The projecting windows and the cut-out terrace are macro-interventions into the black zinc skin which add further visual interest without eroding the purity of the primary forms. The joints in the zinc material are in a semi-random pattern so that the black floating boxes are given a texture, a relief which helps break down the scale to a smaller module.

The timber by contrast has been used in the parts of the building envelope that will come into contact with the body. An inherently tactile material, the wood makes a fantastic contrast with the more precise, machine-like qualities of the zinc.

The route from the main entrance into the open walkways is filled with visual interest. A combination of light, glimpsed views and beautiful materials will make these spaces a joy to use.”

Prior to the final sales release of apartments at The School Yard, all interested parties are urged to contact selling agent Centrick Property on 0121 347 6116 or email to register interest.