Welcome to the AJA Blog

Thinking of building your dream home? Here is the story of one house; Copper Bottom.

That’s quite a binstore

A rusty steel shed with fins? What more could you wish for.

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I didn’t know we had one of these

One of the things that we took out of our spec when we were doing some inevitable value engineering was our rainwater harvesting tank. I am glad that, after doing some research into how important they are, we decided to put ours back in.

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What a difference a day makes

One day it looked like this and then the next.......

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Paving the way

Mick, our wonderful site foreman, and his team have done a great job paving the main terrace.

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Picture this

The picture window is revealed. We will be able to see the dreaming spires while we drink our morning tea in bed.

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To the rafters

The TRA Roofscape Design Awards celebrate the ingenuity and technical skills of designers in the roofing sector. They recognise projects that showcase the highest standards in design, innovation, and sustainability in the use of timber trussed rafter roofs.

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It’s a sign

A spare piece of copper, a newly created font and a trip to see laser cutting in action in Birmingham. It all adds up to a bespoke house sign for Copper Bottom.

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Easter site visit to Copper Bottom

This honestly isn't photoshopped

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We were looking forward to this

The scaffold has come down to reveal the crispness of the copper folds.

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Enjoyable, if rather daunting…

RIBA South East organised a visit to Copper Bottom this week. It was enjoyable, if somewhat daunting, to welcome so many fellow architects on site to see the work in progress.

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It’s all in the detail

Copper Bottom’s defining feature (other than its sustainability credentials) is its copper cladding.  I talk to the man responsible for cloaking the house; Paul Saunders of Cotswold Metal Roofing.

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Solar panels on the roof at Copper Bottom

A solar farm in the sky

Solar farms are an efficient source of renewable energy, but they can be controversial and are, in the eyes of many, rather ugly. The 37 panel solar array at Copper Bottom is effectively an invisible solar farm that uses no land.

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As green as green can be

As the process of cladding Copper Bottom begins, its sculpted form and dramatic colour are beginning to emerge. But being green is about more than the colour of the outside.

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How many architects does it take….

The AJA team visited the site today.

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A Roof with a View

It hasn't been a great time to be installing a roof with non-stop rain for the last few weeks. But, on a rare day of sunshine yesterday, we ventured up to the roof to see how things are going.

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Opening up; seeing the double height space for the first time

It felt like quite a wow moment.

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All trussed up

The wooden trusses are going up at Copper Bottom, giving a sense of the angles the folded copper sheets will make when hung off them.

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Shape matters

Copper Bottom is undoubtably an unusual shape. Architectural whimsy? No, says Adrian, the shape derives from the uses it serves, particularly environmental concerns.

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Climate and carbon: concrete benefits of timber

Why would someone who "blooming loves concrete" choose a timber frame for his latest house? As Adrian explains, it's all about climate and carbon.

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The house starts to appear

Last week a (very big) crane arrived and started dropping in panels.

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Getting to the bottom of it

Another big day for the project - the pouring of the slab.

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Meanwhile at the timber frame factory…

In our last blog we mentioned that we are using a timber frame at Copper Bottom.

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The View from the Site Hut

Anyone who has been involved in a building project will know that having a good site foreman is key. We are lucky at Copper Bottom to have the absolute best in the form of Mick Bond. I visited site today to have a chat with him about his career and our project.

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A love letter to copper

Our new house, Copper Bottom, will be fully clad in pre-patinated copper. Why? I asked Adrian to explain and he wrote this, pretty much a love letter to copper.

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Action stations

The first actual construction work has happened; Copper Bottom has its foundations.

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Who doesn’t love a photo opportunity with a digger?

Our contractor, GC Interiors, have been clearing and levelling the site.

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Location, location, location

This one is a real Goldilocks site: within comfortable walking/cycling distance of Oxford’s city centre, and yet feeling as if it is deep in the countryside.

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Green is for Go. Our sustainable, sculpted house breaks ground.

Copper Bottom is the new green vision from Adrian James, Director at Adrian James Architects.

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