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Bat box designs awarded top prizes in regional competition

bat box competition

In September 2017, Jonathan Rhind Architects challenged aspiring and established designers to create designs for a bat box, to accommodate a colony of up to 50 bats, suitable for a historic or listed building. We find out more about the winning entries…

Amateur architects and designers from the South West have been awarded top prizes in a design competition run by specialist conservation architecture firm, Jonathan Rhind Architects.

Judges Alison Howell, Jo Ferguson and Kate Ponting

Judges Alison Howell, Jo Ferguson and Kate Ponting

Liz Greenwood was awarded the first-place prize of £250 in the over 16 category for her inspired design, which was judged to be both practical and adaptable, especially in Ecostyrocrete, with which the box is made, using an aggregate that matches the wall to which it is mounted. Liz’s winning design will be made into a prototype and used on one of Jonathan Rhind Architects’ projects.

The under 16 category was won by William Allen, a student at West Exe School, with a practical and well thought out design, where he had carefully considered the bats habitat requirements. William will receive £150 prize money.

Julian Clayton, senior architect at Jonathan Rhind Architects and one of the competition judges said: “We were extremely impressed with the quality of designs submitted and it was a tough choice deciding on a winner.”

“We often have to consider bats in our work and, although the standard bat boxes are adequate in providing a home for bats, they often don’t complement the aesthetic of a listed building or church. We launched this competition to find a bat box that would solve this, as well as inspiring people to be creative and research how they can support nature through design.”

Runners up in the competition were Jen Gardener from Exeter, commended for her in-depth knowledge of bats shown in the design; and George Pitman from Chard, who had carefully considered appearance and construction of the bat box.

Julian continued: “I’d like to thank the judges – Alison Howell from Historic England, Jo Ferguson from the Bat Conservation Trust and Kate Ponting from Clinton Devon Estates – for giving their time and expertise to judge this competition.”

“As well as being inspired by the entries, the judging also provoked lively debate amongst the judging team on ways to improve bat conservation and we have all agreed to collaborate in the future.”

The competition tasked entrants with designing a bat box to provide roosting for up to 50 bats that could be mounted on the wall or roof of a historic building. Entrants were advised to pay particular attention to the visual appearance and the materials used in construction of the box.

For over 30 years Jonathan Rhind Architects has provided architectural conservation and design services for specialist projects including churches and heritage and listed buildings, as well as providing designs for new innovative buildings in difficult or unusual settings.

The team has worked on a number of high-profile projects across the Westcountry including completing work for the National Trust at Arlington Court in North Devon and the complete repair and re-ordering of a 15th Century Gildhouse in Poundstock, Cornwall.

For more information on projects worked on by Jonathan Rhind Architects visit their website or follow them on Twitter @JonathanRhind1