A Birdhouse for the Soul: The Finch Project.

Published on 1st October 2013

From the garden, there’s something almost idyllic about the Finch Project. It’s not the materials; made from red brick, render and glass, this is a thoroughly forward-looking project. It’s not the location; despite the manicured garden, the plot is surrounded on all sides. And it’s not the aesthetic; angular and confident, the Finch house speaks of modernity. And yet, somehow, with the steeply pitched roofs, end wall balcony and open facade, there is almost something of the archetypal Swiss chalet about the place; an inviting friendliness which draws one in and tempts one to look around.

Created in Lancashire by Construction Partnership UK in collaboration with Apropos, the Finch Project has been designed to transform a relatively small plot into an airy, spacious dwelling, which delivers contemporary needs without clashing with the period properties of the surrounding area. While pitched roofs are very much a part of Lancashire’s architectural heritage – as illustrated by Pigeon Tower in Rivington, Samlesbury Hall and more recently, the Brockholes Visitors Centre – and dormer windows fit in with the local aesthetic, it is the clean white render, battleship grey edging and expansive use of glass which sets the Finch Project apart from its neighbours and delivers the modern feel.

Every room within the build is illuminated by natural light; Apropos folding-sliding doors – made from Solar Control glass to help maintain the year-round ambient temperature of the building and reduce energy bills into the future – adorn three sides of the ground floor, flooding the area with radiance and creating a cohesive, open-plan feel redolent of relaxation. Working closely with Construction Partnership UK, the Apropos design team sought to deliver a clean, understated look which would fully answer the client’s brief. The results are a breath-taking homage to contemporary construction. Even the recessed Aprofold doors on the gable end wall work to create a vibrant living space, while offering the privacy necessary to an over-looked home.

The airy ambience continues into the upper storey, where the rooms are lit up by sizeable windows and glazed wall inserts. The master bedroom is particularly striking, finished with a beautiful balcony, also created from glass, to allow the light unimpeded entry. Formed from Pilkington Activ Clear, both the balcony and glazed wall inserts are finished with a photocatalytic and hydrophilic coating, which helps dirt to break down under the sun and wash away in the rain, meaning that for the owners of the Finch Project grappling with ladders for laborious window cleaning is a thing of the past.

While the Finch Project is entirely bespoke, the techniques used by Construction Partnership UK and Apropos are easily appropriated and applied to existing homes, making it possible to transform even the darkest and most decrepit of buildings into lavish and bright accommodation.

The glassware required to finish a scheme of the size and standard of the Finch Project can be achieved for around £40,000. If you would like more information on how to employ the design techniques exhibited here, or to discuss your own bespoke glass architectural project, please contact Apropos on 08003280033.

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