Design a bespoke bat box for heritage buildings

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The team at Jonathan Rhind Architects is working on plans for an exciting new design competition, which will offer up to £250 to the winning entries.

This September, we will be launching a bat box competition, challenging budding designers and architects in Devon and Somerset to design a bat box suitable for a historic or listed building and to house 50 bats.

The winning bat box will be built and installed on one of Jonathan Rhind Architects projects, as well as taking home the prize money.

The competition was prompted by the restrictions that the team has found with bat boxes in their work on heritage projects. Julian Clayton, Senior Architect said: “As a practice specialising in the repair and renovation of historic buildings, we often have to consider bats in our work and look at what we must do to support them.

“Although the standard bat boxes are adequate in providing a home for bats, they are often far from ideal to be attached to the side of a church or listed building, as they simply don’t complement the aesthetic."

“We are launching this competition to find a bat box that will help to retain the original character of historic buildings, as well as providing a roosting place for bats.”

Entries will be judged by leading figures and experts in nature conservation and historic building conservation, including Amy Coulthard and Alison Howell from Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment. Joining them is Sarah Ball, Heritage at Risk Architect at Historic England, the public body who looks after England’s historic environment.

A wildlife expert from Clinton Devon Estates, who own and manage 25,000 acres of land across three separate Estates in Devon, will also be on the judging panel, alongside our Senior Architect, Julian Clayton.

Entries will be divided into two categories: Best entry by a person under 16 and best entry by a person 16 and over. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each category, with £150, £100 and £50 prize money for the under 16 category, and £250, £100 and £50 for the over 16 category respectively.

The Jonathan Rhind Architects team will be working on their own designs ahead of the competition to offer entrants inspiration. Full competition brief, information pack and terms and conditions will be posted on our website ahead of the competition.

You can find out more about our work on conservation projects in our case studies.