Does this £800,000 house in Harborne Park Road look familiar?
It should because it has taken its cues from the brutalist architecture movement figure-headed in Birmingham by John Madin.
It is one of two upmarket detached houses built in what was once the car park of Church House , a 1960s office building that used to belong to the diocese of Birmingham.
Church House was designed by Douglas Hickman, who went on to join The John Madin Design Group.
The offices have now been turned into luxury apartments – renamed The Grove – by builder/developer Peter Phillimore, who was inspired to follow their modernist lines for two neighbouring bespoke houses.
These are located on a private slip road off tree-lined Harborne Park Road.
Harborne Cricket Club lies just behind and the end house has panoramic views of all the cricketing action from its terraces and back garden.
Peter said: “I have been in the building trade for 25 years and I wanted the opportunity to stick my neck out with a design because I am disappointed that other people don’t.
“Planners are open to people doing something out of the ordinary but I think the public has the idea that they are not and that is slightly misguided.”
Although the brutalist designs of Madin and his contemporaries plummeted in popularity just a few decades after they went up, there is growing movement in favour of preserving what has been left.
This was why the council had been so keen for the empty office building to be saved, so that the city might hang on to some of its mid-20th century architectural heritage.
It was renamed The Grove in honour of its pre office-building past when the site was home to a Birmingham civic bigwig.
Thomas Attwood, a prosperous banker, crusader for electoral reform and one of Birmingham’s first MPs, lived there between 1823 and 1846.
It is he who is immortalised in bronze sitting on the steps in Chamberlain Square.
Thomas Attwood’s old house was demolished in 1963 and the parkland gardens became a public space. A panelled ante room in The Grove was, however, saved from destruction and acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The office building that went up seemed ahead of its time, as did many modernist designs.
They had clean lines, flat roofs, jettied features and vast expanses of glass. Now their looks have become fashionably retro.
Peter wanted to reflect these design features in the style of the two new neighbouring homes he built in the car park in Harborne Park Road.
Another key aspect of many of the builds by Madin and his peers was the high quality of the materials used, standards that Peter was also keen to maintain.
The five-bedroom home that is currently for sale has balconies with bi-fold doors both front and back, a spacious living room which is open plan to the fitted kitchen, a first floor sitting room with views over the cricket club grounds, integrated garaging with power doors, utility, and Porcelanosa tiling in the cloakroom, two en suites, house bathroom, kitchen and utility.
Tech includes cable TV and telephone to all principal rooms, Smeg appliances in the kitchen and a Nacos alarm system.
It has been built with energy efficiency in mind and is double glazed throughout.
The landscaped back gardens are south facing. The property is on three levels and there is a patio area with brise-soleil on the ground floor.
On the first floor there is a side terrace and a balcony to the front, while the second floor has a balcony at the front and terraces with parapets front and back.
Harborne Park Road is as handy for the QE and the University of Birmingham as it is for Harborne High Street.
Hadleigh estate agency is handling the sale of the house. For anyone interested in renting one of the apartments in The Grove, go to www.whittlestates.com
TEL: 01214 271213
GUIDE PRICE: £800,000