ben cheetham keystone lintelsWe are shining a spotlight on the incredible architecture the Keystone Lintels team has helped deliver. We caught up with Ben Cheetham, Technical Sales & Specification Manager at Keystone Lintels about his favourite architectural project- The ‘Red House’ Development. ‘The Red House’ development in Great Barr, Birmingham is a country estate comprising of eight apartments and six houses set amongst acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. The front and rear entrance to the main apartment building required a prefabricated brick feature arch spanning nearly 4 metres creating an impressive architectural feature.

What challenges did this project present?

The major challenge we encountered with this project was the complexity of the brickwork required. The architect had specified complex brick detailing above the windows & doors with two large feature arches over the entrances. To achieve this detail, specialist brick cutting on site was going to be required, something that was in short supply, expensive and labour intensive.


red brick arch, red house birminghamWhat solutions were developed to overcome these challenges and why did you choose these options?

To achieve the complex brick detailing, we manufactured 55 of the brick arches under controlled conditions at our factory. This involved cutting the bricks into 25mm slips and then bonding them to our steel lintels, we then delivered them as prefabricated units as and when the site needed them. This modern manufacturing method removed the requirement for any specialist and skilled brick cutting on site, whilst also guaranteeing quality & saving time. We also supplied several Conservation Keylite Roof Windows. These windows had a black exterior with a central glazing bar which helped the new builds to remain consistent with the surrounding Georgian buildings.


What is your favourite architectural feature on this project?

The large 3.8 metre feature arches with keystones in the centre are my favourite architectural feature. They blend in seamlessly with the surrounding brickwork and look great!


red house brick arch keystone lintelsWhy did you enjoy working on this project?

I really enjoyed being involved in this project early in the design process with the architect & contractor. The buildings had been left derelict for over a decade and were very run down so it was great to see the drawings come to life and see our solutions help bring the buildings back to their former glory.