Adrian James Architects

 
Address   Adrian James Architects
79a Mill Street
OXFORD
Oxfordshire
OX2 0AL 
 
   01865 203267   
   01865 203268   
Email   aj@adrianjames.com  
Website   www.adrianjames.com 
Contact   Mr Adrian Dennis James 

 Further information >>
 
1: Project NameIncurvo
Dates: 2011 - 2015
Location: Oxfordshire 
Gross Area: 500 to 999 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - One-off Houses
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Competition Entries,  Contract Administration,  Materials Advice,  Planning Applications,  Post Occupancy Evaluation,  Sustainable Design
 
Awards:
RIBA South Award 2017
RIBA South Sustainability Award 2017
Description:
The house is a viscous form petrified, an English butte which grows out of the organic folds of its setting. The strong sense of movement is expressed in the sinuous brick carapace. The local brick has a luminous earthy orange hue, seemingly still bright from the heat of the kiln; this house exploits both the extraordinary plasticity of the humble brick, and its rough, tough sense of rootedness. Inside too is all about curves and movement; the lofty entrance hall draws the visitor in and then left, right, and up as the space diverges in all directions. The end destinations are the foci of the majestic curved windows which offer panoramic views of the garden, water, trees and rolling Chilterns landscape beyond. With respect to sustainability, Incurvo is as close to a Passivhaus as a curvy house can be: it meets the most stringent benchmarks for insulation, thermal bridging, airtightness and thermal comfort. It has three separate renewable energy systems. It has been designed as a Lifetime Home, and built in materials which will age gracefully with no need for maintenance. Incurvo is designed to last for many lifetimes with the lightest of touches on the planet, and to lift the spirit for just as long.
 
2: Project NameShrewsbury School
Dates: 2014 - 2015
Location: Shrewsbury 
Gross Area: 1 000 to 1 999 sqm 
Sectors:
Education - Secondary Education
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Drawing Service,  FFE (Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment),  Interior Design,  Materials Advice,  Planning Advice,  Planning Applications
 
Description:
A new flagship academic building for one of the country's leading public schools, Hodgson Hall sits at the heart of Shrewsbury School's historic campus in the Kingsland Conservation Area. It contains classrooms for 5 humanities departments, plus an innovative teaching forum in the dramatic light-filled atrium. AJA won the design competition for the project partly because they stretched the brief to include this new focal space. Other competitors included the rather grander Eric Parry Architects and Glenn Howells Architects. The building is designed to provide superb teaching facilities but also to sit comfortably amongst the school's august Edwardian piles and to feel as if it is built to last like the institution it embodies. It is all about formalism and mass: a four-square symmetrical design whose huge arches and deep reveals give the impression it has been hewn from a solid cube of brick and stone. Hodgson Hall was completed on time and on budget in July 2015.
 
3: Project NameSandpath
Dates: 2011 - 2014
Location: Beckley 
Gross Area: 100 to 249 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - One-off Houses
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Planning Advice,  Planning Applications,  Production Information
 
Description:
A self-build house in the countryside near Oxford, completed 2014. The budget was tight so the house is really simple: a clean cuboid form with no frills, assembled from a flat pack of structural insulated timber panels. The drama is focused in three areas which give the house its lift: the cantilever at the front so the house hangs out, the huge opening onto the garden (which did require a big steel in the timber frame) and the delicate folded plate stair whose lightness adds finesse to the open plan interior. This house shows how a challenging budget can be turned into an opportunity: the necessary simplicity makes for purity and clarity.
 
4: Project NameWycliffe Hall
Dates: 2017 - (ongoing)
Location: Oxford 
Gross Area: 1 000 to 1 999 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - Student Housing
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Materials Advice,  Sustainable Design
 
Description:
The project has progressed as far as a reasonably detailed concept design, as illustrated, but now hit the planning buffers and is currently on hold. AJA have used the commission to explore, test and evolve a solution for just what 21st century student accommodation should be. The purpose being not just to determine room sizes and facilities but also to address the issues of student mental health and well-being, modern methods of construction, sustainability through Passivhaus parameters, and how to build anew in a highly sensitive context adjacent to listed buildings in a Conservation Area. This project will act as a springboard for the practice in the design of future similar education buildings.
 
5: Project NameHill Top House
Dates: 2009 - 2012
Location: Oxford 
Gross Area: 100 to 249 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - One-off Houses
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Planning Advice,  Planning Applications,  Project Management
 
Awards:
RIBA Downland Award Winner 2012
Concrete Society Best Concrete Building 2013 Overall Winner
RIBA Stephen Lawrence Award shortlist 2012
Description:
An exquisite essay in concrete for clients who relish the uncompromising ascetic quality of the material. It may sound hifalutin, but this house really is a kind of poetry: the design is all about expressing the base beauty of concrete: the very antithesis of bling. All the main elements of the building £ the walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, roof £ are polished panels of precast concrete, made off-site, delivered and assembled like a vast house of cards. The house is organised so these raw panels are left completely unfettered by fittings, services and clutter. The highly disciplined plan has long enfilades down each side so the concrete flank walls run right through from front to back, washed by daylight from full-height windows displaying the distant view. And then the staircase! A concrete causeway cascading down a sheer-sided canyon shimmering in sunshine flooding from above. Oh boy.
 
6: Project NameSt Michael’s Threshold
Dates: 2012 - 2018
Location: Oxford 
Gross Area: 100 to 249 sqm 
Sectors:
Religious Buildings - Christian
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Materials Advice,  Planning Applications,  Post Occupancy Evaluation
 
Description:
Our front extension creates a new threshold for the church: a large entrance lobby plus those crucial ancillary spaces every assembly building needs like a kitchen, loos, stores and an office. But the new lobby is not just a lobby; it is itself a lofty space with its own special character. The huge toplight and the circular timber crown in the ceiling give it a numinous quality as befits a pukka narthex. This is the space that mediates between the secular and the sacred. And how to build on the front of a glorious if eccentric church? The new addition doesn’t try to hide the curious historical anomaly of the brick west wall. It is designed as if the church interior has oozed out of the entrance doors and set hard as a brick lozenge around an expansive glazed entrance screen addressing the public footpath through the churchyard. This is a building at once sheltering and welcoming, which opens the church to the world and sets up a progressive sequence of increasingly special spaces from path to porch to narthex to nave. Getting here was not an easy process: building on the front of a listed and loved church is something that requires – quite rightly – very careful scrutiny by multiple bodies, both statutory and corporeal. But the design was welcomed by English Heritage, the planners, the diocese, the parish and the locals.
 
7: Project NameMeander House
Dates: 2009 - 2013
Location: Abingdon 
Gross Area: 500 to 999 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - One-off Houses
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Competition Entries,  Contract Administration,  Materials Advice,  Planning Applications,  Post Occupancy Evaluation,  Project Management,  Sustainable Design
 
Description:
The two floors of this thrilling new house weave through their woodland setting on different paths. The ends of the first floor sweep far out in dramatic cantilevers which, combined with the sinuous curves, imbue the house with a breathtaking dynamism. The seemingly weightless form of the house is achieved with some very serious steel gymnastics. The carbon footprint of the house is minimised by gathering energy from ground source heat pumps and a huge array of solar panels. The idea of the house as a walk in the woods is continued inside: the circulation route is lined from end to end with a sinuous and sensuous wall of vertical oak boards. The minimal interior using a limited palette of oak, basalt and stainless steel has been exquisitely crafted to the tightest tolerances.
 
8: Project NameCorus Colorcoat Construction Office
Dates: 2007 - 2009
Location: Shotton 
Gross Area: 2 000 to 4 999 sqm 
Sectors:
Industrial - Research,  Offices - Owner Occupied
 
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Key Services:
Full Architectural Service
 
Description:
This will be the new HQ for the Corus Colorcoat division based in Shotton North Wales, where Colorcoat pre-finished steel products are manufactured. It will bring together 180 staff in an exemplar building designed to demonstrate how steel can inform leading edge sustainable design. The Construction Office will be a striking new landmark at the entrance to the Corus site. The strong circular form of the 3800sq.m four storey office will be highly visible in its location in front of the huge production sheds and adjacent to the freshwater cooling lagoons. The design makes the most of both the coating process and lagoons as innovative sources of energy: surplus steam and heat from the coatings plant will be harnessed to heat the new offices, and the lagoons will be used as a heat sink to cool the building. The central atrium will enable the building to be naturally ventilated. The external skin of the drum is expressed in finned, curved walls which incorporate Corus deep profile cladding. The curve is accentuated by sweeping screens of steel mesh which float in front of the main office elevations providing solar protection but allowing uninterrupted views out. Throughout the building inside and out Corus products are specified to highlight their quality, versatility and sustainability credentials.
 
9: Project NameWalton Lane
Dates: 2008 - 2009
Location: Oxford 
Gross Area: 500 to 999 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - One-off Houses
 
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Key Services:
Contract Disputes,  Design & Build,  Ecological Architecture,  Full Architectural Service,  Materials Advice,  Planning Applications
 
Awards:
Oxford Preservation Trust Award 2012
Description:
A pair of new semi-detached houses on a quiet mews in Jericho £ one of Oxford£s Conservation Areas. The houses are designed to fit comfortably in the smaller scale of the mews but are actually four floors including a full basement. They make the very most of the tight site. The dark copper roofs suit the context but add an air of refinement. The bricks are unusually long and shallow like Roman bricks, laid with thin mortar joints; subtle but distinctive.
 
10: Project NamePortland Road
Dates: 2016 - 2018
Location: Oxford 
Gross Area: 250 to 499 sqm 
Sectors:
Houses and Housing - General
 
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Key Services:
Architects' Service & Fee Advice,  Contract Administration,  Planning Applications
 
Description:
The building is designed to mediate between the stately stone barn of the adjacent church hall on one side and the more piecemeal domestic mix on the other. So it shares a material palette and simplicity of detail with the former, but the form is broken up into interlocking volumes to relate to the latter. The linked blocks, the deep reveals, the stepped walls and proto-portico framing the generous balconies all work together to imbue the building with a hewn sculptural quality and a nobility which belies its size.