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Madin designed and built Juniper Hill for client Jack Davies between 1957 and 1959, a home for the ages where Davies, a timber merchant, could spend time with his family, enjoying the home and its beautiful surroundings, including the five dominant oak trees that punctuated the farmland, now sprawling grounds for family life.
If you appreciate the true authenticity of the design movement of the 60s then you will be spellbound walking through this exceptional home, a portal to the modern Mid-Century aesthetic, which has been preserved and enhanced with fine attention to detail.
This Grade II listed chalet home is set within 2.75 acres of land. The abundant potential is an enlivening prospect, the style of build itself a portrait to the Mid-Century architectural period; ever admired, now iconic.
To own a home of this magnitude is a truly special chance encounter. It is the very embodiment of the time in design history, where the greats of architecture reinvented the wheel, transforming and elevating designs for living, forever. Potent in period features this property is much more than its premium location (Lapworth is an outstanding village, in relatively close proximity to Knowle, Dorridge and the town of Solihull). Accessed through a private gated entrance, the driveway guides you to the front elevation. This is a house of substance, its materials a bespoke choice of handmade brick, chamfered buttresses, random marble and hardwood timber flooring.
A tremendous gabled roof with shallow pitch and deep eves, sweeps low over the short flanks of the building. How can a house look so shallow and so enormous all at once? This is the hand of Madin, whose work is said to have radically changed the face of Birmingham between 1950 and 1975. The apex itself is set off-centre with the entrance directly below, set within the porch, portraying an irregular geometry and a beautiful façade, front and back. Large expanses of glass set within dark frames continue the Modernist story of this home from every angle.
Wood panelling throughout, an honest nod to the period, sets the scene and lays the table for further design notes over dinner, the original flow of the house intact and appreciative of the floor to ceiling windows, offering light, where dark panelling inhabits the space. Contrast is at play, but the smooth lines and ease of movement across the floor make it all the more welcoming.
The canopy porch invites you in with entrance hall and fitted cloakroom for modern-day usability. The design banquet starts a few steps ahead as you enter into the open lounge and flow into the dining room, no doubt the pinnacle of the home in its original glory and now.
Wood panelling and a hint of exposed brick, now only visible through the window to the outside, reveals a home, so steadfast in its commitment to era, it is unapologetic. And why wouldn't it be? This is exquisite, authentic, craftsmanship from Madin's time, updated in simple ways, leaving notes to the first vision in the mosaic parquet floor blocks and even the appreciation in the use of furniture within the dining and lounge areas.
The kitchen, which once would have been an ode to the movement, now immortalised in more than a few Mid-Century coffee table tomes, is now modernised and fully fitted in Neff appliances, still displaying the original random marble flooring of the period, expressive, quirky and an artistic break away from the sleek surfaces of the fitted kitchen above it. The flow into breakfast area, utility, downstairs toilet and finally the large, double garage, complete the east wing.
Back out and across the ground floor to the west wing, sit four bedrooms, one with en-suite and a main bathroom for all to enjoy. The equality of the space and layout make this a family home of very balanced proportions. The exception, not the rule. Upstairs, the main bedroom is a bright, open space, with those tremendous views again, sat into the eves of the property. Windows stretch into the tip, offering every chance for light to flood in. The private bathroom, with its portal of sunlight, is modern and yet respectful of its position in this architectural lair. The main bedroom balcony opens up to views of the rear garden. Here, the architect has explored the boundless energy you take from the grounds and drawn it upwards and inwards to this very cool, sublimely private, yet wildly open sanctuary of a bedroom.
Madin's work will be remembered among the many in the architectural community for Birmingham Central Library and the Chambers of Commerce, but enjoyed most privately, will be his masterclass in Mid-Century, Juniper Hill.
- Three words : Location. Space. Design.
Lapworth has everything a village should have.
Lapworth is a great village tucked away in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside. But it’s certainly not remote. In fact we think it is better connected than most places in England. You could be jetting off to warmer climes from Birmingham airport, which is only 20 minutes away, zipping along to London from Lapworth Station or zooming down the M40 quicker than Mrs Clarke can say “supper’s ready”. If it is Birmingham you are wanting to get to then Lapworth station runs regular services to all Birmingham stations.
The school is very sought after and mums are queuing up to get the little ones enrolled. After drop off they head to The Virgin Active for some pilates. “There is a great network of people in the village. Lapworth has a really friendly community.”
That’s the boring stuff done! Did I mention there are three pubs? Mr and Mrs Clarke’s favourite is The Boot. “The beer is delicious and the food is wonderful. George, the very handsome Manager recommends the annual bonfire “It’s a must see. The teepee in the back garden is great for a fancy party.”
Lapworth is surrounded by stunning countryside and some lovely National Trust properties. The cycling around the area is fantastic and with Dynamic Rides, a great cycle shop in Hockley Heath, there is always someone to jump on the saddle with.
“We love Lapworth because it’s so friendly. Everyone says hello when you are walking the dogs along the canal and it’s just a really pretty and safe place to live” said a well heeled and well dressed gentleman when we last popped into the village for a bottle of wine the pop shop.
You are close to lots of little hubs like Hockley Heath, which has a McLaren garage if you fancy a new car, a great fish and chip shop, a superb Indian restaurant, and a dry cleaners. Henley-in-Arden for great ice cream, Warwick, Solihull, Leamington and Kenilworth. It’s a well connected place to live.
Lapworth is located between Warwick and Solihull. It boasts not one but three pubs, a cricket club and a train to London & Birmingham. That must be why Mr Clarke loves it.
- Closest village/town: Lapworth
- Post Office: 1
- Stores: Lapworth Stores run by one of the nicest shop keepers you will ever meet, DJ.
- Supermarket: Waitrose in Kenilworth is only fifteen minutes away or Tesco is in Shirey. Hockley Heath has Steve Mills butchers and a few shops for the necessities.
- Pubs: Lots of them. The Boot is superb, The Tom O' The Wood is wonderful & The Navigation does some very good ales and then there is the glam Punch Bowl.
- Walks: Endless walking along the canal or in the countryside.