Stephen J. Giles

Passion Points: 16K

Construction & regeneration
22 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Reinvention

Birmingham’s famous Repertory Theatre is set to undergo dramatic new works that’ll see a new striking new entrance on the iconic façade - and in turn securing the long-term future of the company!

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The remodelling of its front of house areas aims to produce a more permeable façade and open plan layout internally – one that engages with the outside public and ultimately increase footfall.

Approved in December 2019, The REP are aiming for a 2021 completion date to coincide with the celebration of its 50th anniversary on Centenary Square. 

EMBRACING CHANGE

The REP, like many arts organisations, has suffered against the backdrop of untimely funding cuts, meaning that this project is absolutely vital as it strives to become financially sustainable; the remodelling has been designed to increase footfall, which in turn will help increase revenues.

What a time to re-invent given the other significant regeneration projects within the area -namely Centenary Square, the Arena Central redevelopment, and Symphony Hall. 

In addition to the new entrance, works will see the introduction of external balconies, two free-standing feature structures, illuminated signage, digital screens, and enhanced forecourt landscaping works.

Internally, alterations to public areas will see the creation of informal performance spaces, improved orientation, an upgrade to the current bar and catering, as well as the introduction of a new restaurant on the first floor and other such units.

Existing floor plans: (Right click for a closer look)

Approved floor plans: (Right click for a closer look)

DID YOU KNOW?

The architects behind the scheme, APEC, consulted in-depth during the planning process, and even contacted the buildings original designer, Graham Winteringham, 92, who pointed out that a central entrance was originally considered but was ultimately ruled out due to the location of a pool of water in a civic square that was never realised. Second times a charm!

Words by Stephen, with RIBA 3 images (subject to change) from APEC Architects.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

THE TRIANGLE: HUGE REDEVELOPMENT FOR SELLY OAK

'The Triangle' in Selly Oak will transform a neglected former Sainsbury's site into a lively new student & community-driven development.

Three new blocks will be erected, delivering 1187 units, student communal facilities, ground floor commercial & publicly accessible community floorspace. Exciting stuff!

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The site is bordered by Chapel Lane, Harborne Lane and Bristol Road in Selly Oak – otherwise known as the former Sainsbury's site, which has sat derelict since November 2018.

Once demolished, the site will be subdivided into three new brick blocks, with heights varying between 4 to 12 storeys tall, separated by landscaped courtyard space.

TWO PHASES

Phase 1 will deliver 635 units in Block A along with community space, flexible unit(s), student amenity and courtyard spaces.

Phase 2 will then complete the remaining 552 student bedrooms and facilities.

Accommodation will typically be arranged into cluster, studios, standard & premium en-suites.

These builds have been devised to respond to their near neighbours, with each emphasising a stepped-up approach in height across all blocks. Taller builds will be strategically placed at key corners.

Materiality and facade works remain unswerving throughout - as the below renderings will show.

SHARED PUBLIC & PRIVATE STUDENT AMENITIES

Shared amenity spaces will be available at ground floor level - located within Blocks A & B, with A also featuring a communal terrace on the 5th floor and a possible water feature within the courtyard.

The site will offer a wide-ranging mix of private and a semi-public realm with outdoor amenity for students. A public area of accessible open space will also be allocated for community use - aptly created around the retained 'Selly Oak' tree.

Other facilities include a gym, cycle hub, cafe, canteen, lobby, FM room, games room, laundry, and spacious study areas.

A total of 45 accessible wheelchair accommodation will be combined across all blocks.

THE BLOCKS:

BLOCK A

BLOCK B

View down the internal street between Blocks A & B:

View of the arrival off Chapel Lane:

BLOCK C

CAR FREE AFFAIR, BUT PLENTY OF CYCLES!

The inclusion of a cycle hub will provide safe long-stay & short-stay storage areas - with long-stay containing 235 cycles in Block A, and 61 in Block C - totaling 296 bicycle spaces. Short-stay provision site-wide is expected to provide 30 more.

The Triangle will predominately be a car-free affair, other than ‘drop-offs’ and ‘pick-ups’ for taxis and students at the beginning and end of terms; 27 short-stay spaces will be offered, along with 4 permanent blue badge disabled spaces. 

The project is to be managed by Hines' student operator ‘Aparto’.

BEFORE & AFTERS

PROJECT TEAM:
DEVELOPER: HPH Selly Oak Property Ltd (Hines & Henderson Park JV)
ARCHITECTS: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris/ & Bradley Murphy Design
STUDENT OPERATOR: Aparto 
CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING: Price & Myers
MEP ENGINEERING: Cundall
PROJECT MANAGER: Avison Young Second London Wall
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Turner and Townsend
PCSA CONTRACTOR: Bowmer + Kirkland

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists' impressions from AHMMBradley Murphy Design.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

OCTAGON: A WORLD FIRST ON THE BIRMINGHAM SKYLINE

Plans have arrived for the world's tallest pure octagonal residential tower - right here in Birmingham!

Located at Paradise, this new unique landmark build-to-rent tower will rise to 49-storeys tall (155m). 
 

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The Octagon will deliver 346 spacious new petal-shaped homes (57sqm-117sqm), with up to eight to a floor getting their own uninterrupted panoramic views of the city.

The mix will provide 170 one, 168 two and 8 three-bed units. with a number of affordable apartments also available for rent.

Communal spaces and resident amenities will be prominently situated at the entrance of the building, with uses set to feature a café/deli, reception area, gymnasium, wellness hub, co-working space, cycle hub, storage areas, and lounges.

Crucially, the new vibrant space will open up to a landscaped courtyard within Paradise - ultimately driving footfall through the evolving redevelopment.

PUREST FORM - A WORLD'S FIRST

Designed by Birmingham-based architects, Glenn Howells, with landscaping coming from global landscaping firm, Grant Associates, Octagon will feature eight equal facades - delivering the purest octagonal form, with the building's frame punctuated by large 10.5m horizontal windows opening up apartments to panoramic views of the city. 

With Council House, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG), and the Grade-II listed, Alpha Tower, all in close proximity, the exterior has been designed to give off a warm tone to reflect its historic surroundings.

The project is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership (PCLP), a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council. Argent is development manager, with private sector funding managed by Federated Hermes.

BEST OF THE REST

Octagon will be brought forward independently of all the other phases, but it is still considered part of Phase 2 within the masterplan. 

Demolition of 77 Paradise Circus Queensway will commence in 2021 followed by construction. Works are anticipated to take three years, with a 2024 completion date.

Words by Stephen Giles, with renderings from Glenn Howells Architects & Paradise Birmingham.

PROJECT TEAM

Client: Argent
Architect: Glenn Howells Architects
Landscape Architect Grant Associates
Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor: Quantem
Planning Consultant: Turley
Structural Engineer: Arup
Mechanical & Electrical: Arup
Civil Engineer: Arup
Acoustic Engineer: Arup
Fire Engineer: Arup
Facade Consultant: Wintech Group
Lighting Consultant: Spiers And Major
 
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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
15 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Square: New Revised Plans Set For Approval

NEW revised designs have gone in for The Square, Broad Street - it's also recommended for approval on October 22nd.

440 apartments will be constructed within two adjoined builds of 35 (110.85m) and 6 storeys. A standalone hotel building will also be incorporated - providing 229 rooms over 8 storeys. 

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The Square will be introduced into the emerging Broad Street cluster and will offer a new yardstick for community living in the city.

It's being brought forward by 2020 Living Ltd, a vehicle used by Taylor Grange Developments, and has been designed by Corstorphine + Wright.

LATEST DESIGNS & PLANS

These latest plans, which are now set for approval, will see the demolition of a site deemed unsuitable for commercial tenants and the construction of a 35 storey tower with 6 storey shoulder & one storey podium - all containing 440 rented apartments, plant, storage, reception, communal amenities and cycle parking.

A standalone, 229-bed, 8 storey, 3* mid-market hotel building (white building below) will be built too, located on Grosvenor Street West, delivering flexible commercial ground floor commercial (dining & bar) and private external space.

The revised design will deliver a clean and robust tower using a simple palette that will soon offer something different for Broad Street.

AMENITIES

A multitude of uses will be on offer here as part of the rented package, with secure unprecedented access to top-of-the-range internal and external amenity offerings.

Both residential builds will be adjoined via a shared podium; amenities will feature a 200m running track within the courtyard, wellbeing facilities, gym & café space, cinema/party room, dining and lounge areas, a crèche, plus work and meeting spaces.

The inner courtyard will provide external green space offering different zones to either work or play.

It will become a place to encourage wellbeing and healthy activity, whether through exercise regimes or just a place to chill out and relax in the outdoor seating areas.

Additional external spaces will be provided within at the top of the 35-storey, in the form of a tenants club; the space with also feature a transparent facade providing subtle lighting.

The hotel will include flexible ground floor commercial and will most likely contain bar/ restaurant space. A clear through route will be created that’ll link into the courtyard for shared amenities between residents and guests. 

AFFORDABILITY

The scheme is liable for a CIL payment of circa. £2.179m for the residential element and 225K for the hotel.

In addition to that, an independently accessed viability statement has concluded that a total of 4 apartments (1%) is the most the scheme can sustain without impacting on the viability and deliverability of the scheme. These will be provided at 80% of market rent.

PARKING

The site is on the doorstep of the West Midlands Metro Tram. For that reason alone, four EV (electric vehicle) bays will be provided on site. 

168 cycle spaces will be accessible within the tower together with a dedicated cycle workshop. Hotel users will also be allocated additional space.

Plans are recommended for approval on Thursday October 22nd, at 11am.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from Corstorphine+Wright.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
08 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: 37-42 Tenby Street Approved

A prominent area within the Industrial Middle of the Jewellery Quarter has today been given the go-ahead to be redeveloped after plans were formally approved 6-5 at Planning Committee today (October 8th 2020).

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37-42 Tenby Street, a development from Rainier Developments & BDP Architects, is home to one of the most distinguished Jewellery Quarter businesses remaining today: Charles Green and Son.

Plans will now see the plot redeveloped with the erection of a new 4-storey build erected containing 37 apartments, commercial units and crucially, modern new premises for the company.

Designed to give the appearance of three slightly different linked buildings to the site frontages, the tallest element will be situated on the corner block at the junction of Tenby Street and Albion Street, where the building will be the full 4-storeys tall, plus mezzanine, with pitched roof.

NEW MODERN PREMISES FOR CHARLES GREEN AND SON

With a history dating back to 1824, Charles Green and Son have come to the conscious conclusion that their current premises are too big for operations, and are no longer fit for modern manufacturing and business practices.

The granting of redevelopment ultimately safeguards their long-term future, whilst confirming one of Birmingham's long-term businesses stays for many years to come. They will lease their new premises on reduced rent for a minimum of 15 years.

Fronting Tenby Street, the plot will extend the full depth of the land in the form of a shopping wing. A range of workshops, production space and storage facilities will be delivered alongside first floor offices in a part mezzanine area. 

On the street frontage there will be a reception, open plan office space, boardroom, kitchen, four workshop spaces, and a history and gallery space.

With approval secured prior to a Section 106 agreement, the development will see the replacement unit for Charles Green & Son completed first prior to the residential aspect.

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL USAGES

Next door will see 2,154 sqm of residential floorspace created, delivering one, two and duplex apartments, in a range of 15 one (41sqm- 45sqm), 18 two (61sqm- 66sqm) and 4 duplex (87- 103 sqm) apartments; with two ground floor commercial units (one for Charles Green), and one on the corner facing onto Tenby Street and Albion Street - as seen below.

5% has been allocated for low cost market dwellings – provided at 20% discount. 

First, second and third floors will provide one & two bed apartments, with skylight and dormer windows on the upper floors. Duplexes are offered on the ground floor, each with their own individual entrance facing onto Tenby Street, as well as one on Albion Street.

They also contain mezzanine levels. At the rear a small courtyard area will be accessed from Albion Street.

TRANSPORT

Ground floor facing the courtyard will facilitate double-tiered cycle storage for 48 spaces as well as bin storage and plant.

No car parking is provided, although the Charles Green vehicle access point has been designed to feasibly accommodate a small van.

CONCLUSION

Despite concerns on the effect the overall scheme would have on its settings, it was agreed that the benefits outweigh the harm identified. 

Refusing the application would have left the poorly designed building in the JQ for many more years to come, with the possibility of Charles Green & Son even folding, or potentially move elsewhere.

However, a planning balance was struck and plans are free to proceed with conditions in place. Approved 6-5.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from BDP Architects

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: Birmingham Hippodrome

A major overhaul of Birmingham’s famous Hippodrome theatre has been given full approval.

Works on the theatre will now see major refurbishment and extension works to the Hurst Street façade, along with upgraded foyer and public spaces.

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Planned to start in 2021, the makeover will introduce a broader, more audience focused cultural affair that will inspire public use throughout the day. The theatre will also feature improved pedestrian accessibility around Hippodrome Square, which will include a new secondary entrance on Inge Street.

New food and beverage offerings will be provided at street level - with outdoor seating & retractable awning, as well as a restaurant on the third floor, with the rest of the building including open-air terrace space, small-scale performance spaces, teaching and educational facilities. 

A state-of-the-art digital media screen will be prominently located directly above the main entrance, increasing the theatre’s presence and advertising its diverse programme.

FLOOR BY FLOOR:

Ground: New food and beverage offerings;

First: Dedicated rehearsal space;

Second: Two designated performance spaces & exhibition room;

Third: Restaurant, rehearsal and external balcony space;

Four: Admin, new rehearsal space and provision for a bar.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from the architect, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Exciting Plans For 51 Northwood Street Set For Approval

These ambitious redevelopment plans for 51 Northwood Street - right at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, have been recommended for approval on October 8, with the area set to be turned into a new mixed-use destination.

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Brought forward by the sites owner - Digital Emartbuy Ltd, and designed by D5 Architects, the Mary Street and Northwood Street site will see ambitious new plans comprising residential and commercial - all in a group of well-designed, three and four storey new builds.

51 Northwood Street will replace poorly-designed builds harmful to the Conservation Area with a high-quality scheme that will not only enrich the area, but will increase the amount and type of commercial offerings on site, whilst also providing residential apartments in a sustainable location.

MIXED-USE DESTINATION

27 one and two bedroom apartments will be created, alongside 1,229 sqm of flexible active ground floor commercial usages across the entire site, with as many as 20 small to medium-sized businesses set to transform the site - employing over 200 people.

Subject to a completed Section 106 agreement, the scheme will provide 6 commercial units at 80% of market value (358.7 sqm), something that will help with the sustainability of the Jewellery Quarter as an area seeking to retain and nurture businesses.

Uses could well include retail, offices, restaurant(s), and/or a health centre/clinic. 39% of the development will be commercially-led – with the rest set for residential.

Given the location at the very heart of the Jewellery Quarter, the project is a car free affair, with secure and enclosed cycle storage for 34 provided for residents and workers instead.

RESIDENTIAL & AMENITIES

All 27 one and two bedroom apartments will be made available for open market sale - comprising 6 one beds (22%), and 21 two bedroom units (78%). 

These dwellings will be provided in various sizes ranging from 50.9 sqm to 96 sqm apartments, catering for two, three and four persons; with all new builds set around a central courtyard amenity space, which will be created for residents and, in equal measure, to the occupiers of the commercial units.

Duplexes will also be created, and they'll have access to private terraces.

REINSTATEMENT OF BUILDING FRONTAGES

To make these ambitious plans a reality, Digital Emartbuy’s premises - a poorly designed two-storey office and warehouse (below) will be demolished before construction can commence.

Redevelopment will then set about repairing and reinstating building frontages back onto the plot.

BEFORE (Northwood Street)

AFTER

BEFORE (Mary Street)

AFTER

The dormer building above will be fully commercial.

These exciting plans go to Planning Committee on October 8th, at 11am, with approval recommended. Watch this space!

Words by Stephen, with artists impressions the property of D5 Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Cornwall House Redevelopment

THE eagerly anticipated redevelopment of Cornwall House has moved forward with the submittal of a planning application. 

Henry Boot Developments have teamed up with BPN Architects to bring forward vibrant plans for a mixed-use scheme, comprising two apartment blocks & featuring over 5K commercial ground floor uses.

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A part 6, part 12 storey apartment block will be built alongside a standalone 3-storey canal-side build, with one and two bedroom apartments - catering for one, two and four persons, created across the site.

Sure to prove popular for Birmingham's independent scene is the inclusion of vibrant ground floor commercial units (476 sqm), with residents also benefiting from on-site amenities such as lounge space, gymnasium, a central courtyard, and an intimate sixth-floor roof terrace. 

A striking three-storey apartment block, with pitched roof and clay tiles, will be cushioned canal-side within the courtyard area.

Apartment sizes across the site will generally range from 44 sqm to 80 sqm - these will be available for market sale.

KEY LOCATION

Located on Ludgate Hill, the site lies within a key area of transition, sitting as it does on the inner-fringes of the Jewellery Quarter and the edge of the city core.

Redevelopment will enhance the area further with these animated ground floor uses, something the adjacent 'Great Charles Street' project from MODA Living also does well - acting as it will as an extension to the lively Ludgate Hill, whilst bridging the gap with the city core.

OPEN-AIR TERRACE

SUBTLE ARCHITECTURAL NODS

The scheme will be externally finished in two types of brick as a way of adding variation; these will be dark red (lower levels) & light red-orange (upper levels) with glazed terracotta offering bespoke, decorative detailing, and giving a subtle nod to Birmingham's architectural past.

VEHICLES

An undercroft car-park for around 14 vehicles will be accessed via Ludgate Hill, with the main pedestrian entrance via Lionel Street. 100 secure ground floor cycle spaces will be included and will be available to both commercial staff and residents.

DEMOLITION

Before new life can be breathed back into the site, Cornwall House, a seventies office block, will be demolished.

CORNWALL HOUSE: Google Street View

VISUAL CONTEXT & INDICATIVE INTERIORS

Words by Stephen, with artists impressions from BPN Architects.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
01 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Essex Street Tower: 28-Storey Set For Approval

A new slender 28-storey residential tower is set to be developed after plans were recommended for approval next week (October 8) - subject to a s106 agreement. 

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Located in Southside, at the junction of Bristol Street and Essex Street, the 28-storey development is being brought forward by Essex Street (Properties) Ltd, and Glancy Nicholls Architects.

The unoccupied site will be demolished and replaced with 154 one, two and three bedroom apartments – all earmarked for private sale, with a double-height entrance on Essex Street, a ground-floor commercial unit with mezzanine facing onto Bristol Street, and a multitude of amenity spaces for residents.

The site already benefits from 2017 approval when Sandpiper Group's 68 unit, 18-storey resi tower was given the nod. Work never materialised, with Sandpiper since selling the site on to Essex Street (Properties) Ltd - who are now proposing a redesign and a 10-storey increase.

DESIGN

The design embraces a classic bronze terracotta design containing a curved corner constructed with the use of curved glass, geometric patterned panels, curtain ground floor glazing, and a distinct crown feature at the very top.

The ground floor base, emphasised below by horizontal panelling, fully integrates with the street by way of active frontages on both Essex Street, and a 232 sqm commercial unit on Bristol Street.

Floors 1-6 facing along Bristol Street will feature translucent grey window films - this is to combat the issue of overlooking on a future redevelopment site.

RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION

A double-height reception will welcome residents from Essex Street; the space will feature a foyer, concierge, security room, parcel & post room, along with back of house areas, including a cycle workshop & secure cycle storage area.

Floors 1-27 will provide the living accommodation, with one & two bedroom apartments created alongside a solitary three-bedroom penthouse suite. Apartment sizes will generally range from 49sqm- 93sqm.

The mix will deliver a 45% one & 55% two bed split - the full mix is as follows:

64 one bed (one person); 6 one bed (two persons); 78 two bed (three persons); 5 two bed (four persons); and one 3-bedroom penthouse apartment.

Overall, this equates to 70 one beds, 83 two beds, and 1 three bedroom penthouse. 

AFFORDABILITY

Provision for 8 affordable apartments (5.2%) for low cost home ownership at 20% discount has recently been applied to the scheme - these include 7 one beds & 1 two bedroom apartment. This figure, taking into account the construction costs, location, and values, has been reached without affecting the viability of the scheme.

AMENITIES & CYCLING PROVISION

The scheme includes ample amenity space for residents with a multimedia room, gym space and community room at Level 1, plus the inclusion of a roof garden with areas of seating and the potential for a rooftop cinema space.

Due to the sites constrained nature and centralised location - with the prospect of the Midland Metro Tram arriving in the surrounding area in late-2021, early 2022, no on-site parking has been allocated. Cycle storage for 66 cycles will be provided.

DEMOLITION

Regrettably, these vacant Victorian buildings (31 & 32 Essex Street) will be demolished.

Get ready for more demolition as these aren't the only buildings on the street that are set to make way in the next few years. 

Constructed in 1890, they've been heavily modified over the years, to the extent that much of their character has been lost. Whilst retaining some historic interest, the buildings have fallen into a state of disrepair over the years, as a consequence of neglect.

EMERGING CONTEXT - WITH MORE TO COME

A number of taller buildings are earmarked in the area - these have either been approved, or are progressing through pre-application talks with officers. There is a clear aspiration for a necklace of tall buildings in the area

Some additional developments haven't been highlighted in these contextual drawings from Glancy Nicholls Architects.

Plans are recommended for approval and go to committee on October 8, at 11am. Subject to approval, it is anticipated that work could begin in 2021.

Words by Stephen, with artists impressions exclusively from Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: Moseley Train Station

The historic redevelopment of Moseley Station has moved closer to reopening after plans were formally approved today (September 24) at Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee.

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The reopening of the historic Camp Hill line - which also includes the approved Kings Heath and Hazelwell Stations - will now see Moseley complete the final piece of the jigsaw that will see the re-introduction of passenger services to the south Birmingham line for the first time since 1941.

Brought forward by Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), the team are working with Network Rail and West Midlands Trains, as well as Birmingham City Council, D5 Architects, and Mott Macdonald to lead the exciting development of the new station.

Plans include two 150m long platforms with 50m canopies, seating, pedestrian access from St. Mary's Row, two raised walkways, lifts and stairs to said platforms, ticket vending machines, and a large pedestrian & cyclist walkway forecourt with a circular vehicular drop-off point (see below).

Platforms will be able to accommodate 6 car trains with a standard service provided every 30 minutes. No ticket offices will be delivered but machines will be prominently placed.

Lying within a highly sustainable location in centre of Moseley, ample covered cycle storage provision for 52 bicycles will be situated within a generously sized forecourt.

This will also become a vibrant public space for community uses with the intention to create an attractive new space that best reflects Moseley. 

The reopening of the station allows Kings Norton station to be opened up as an interchange hub, meritoriously connecting Birmingham Moor Street station with areas south of Kings Norton Station ahead of the forecast opening of HS2 (High Speed Rail) - effectively forming part of a fully integrated transport network for the West Midlands.

MOSELEY CONSERVATION AREA

Bound by Woodbridge Road, St Mary's Row, and lying close to designated Grade II listed heritage assets in St Mary's Church and the War Memorial, the site falls within the all-important Moseley Conservation Area.

No building work is anticipated, however, significant levels of infrastructure will be necessary to facilitate the station, including lifts, hard and soft landscaping, and the incorporation of the new roundel junction to increase traffic flow.

The current station site, lying vacant and offering zero contribution to the area, will be positioned adjacent the Grade II listed church and war memorial, but is generally expected to boost the Conservation Area with the reinstatement of the station line, offering a different mode of travel, as well as seeing the retention of the historic Moseley tunnel and wall.

To mitigate against possible issues, conditions with approval include suitable materials being used, landscaping, and noises from the P.A system will address any potential noise concerns.

PARKING PERMITS?

Once the station is up and running, the station will be closely monitored over a 6 month period to determine whether any traffic orders will be required. The same will be introduced to Kings Heath and Hazelwell.

A SECOND PEDESTRIAN ACCESS POINT IN THE FUTURE?

There was a lot of conversation from residents concerning a second pedestrian access point to the site from Woodbridge Road. Although it was agreed that it would certainly improve accessibility, it was deemed not financially viable to proceed with at this moment in time. Watch this space!

Words by Stephen Giles. Artists Impressions from D5 Architects & Mott Macdonald.
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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

3 Arena Central: A Striking Centrepiece

Cladding is virtually complete on this striking centrepiece of a building, right at the heart of Arena Central. Due to open in autumn 2021, Stephen takes a closer look at the development, and how the building is already transforming Arena Central.

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Three Arena Central strikes a distinctive figure on the skyline doesn't it?

At 14-storeys tall, reaching upwards of 73 metres, it will soon become a home from home for several government services, including the new regional HQ for HMRC, in autumn 2021.

Sporting a geometric pattern of hexagonal metallic rainscreen panels, the building sits at the very heart of the Arena Central masterplan where it is already forming a strong identity; wrapping itself entirely around each of the facades to resemble a jewel, or maybe even giving a subtle nod to the former TV show Blockbusters.

The cladding has been divided into a standardised beehive-like grid, so that the rainscreen system can be incorporated throughout. The cladding sports a bright metallic sheen finish, which is in stark contrast to its near neighbours - but that's not to say it doesn't fit in.

COMPLIMENTING ITS NEIGHBOURS

MAKE have certainly designed Three Arena Central to be the striking centrepiece of the redevelopment, whilst being fully complimentary of its more established neighbours.

Yes, Arena Central does have an obvious eclectic mix of builds, but they do share, in one form or another, an architectural connection.

Photo by Stephen Giles.

With its angular geometry on full display, there are gentle nods everywhere you look; the double-height pedestrian friendly colonnades highlight this.

Hexagonal in shape, they’re similar in proportion and scale to the nearby Grade-II listed Alpha Tower, and the recently-completed HSBC UK HQ, next door.

Once the building is complete, and it soon will be, they will wrap around three sides of the building and will allow natural light into the recessed first floor, whilst providing an open vista looking outwards onto the new public square.

These hexagonal features have been designed so internal and external views are both the same, which will allow the tessellating pattern to be enjoyed from both perspectives, whilst also delivering areas of floor-to-ceiling glazing.

The building will boast recessed windows; adding depth, whilst the chamfered corners will naturally frame the building.

Photo by Daniel Sturley.

Photo by Stephen Giles.

This not only connects the relationship between them, but it also connects the dots for the impending public realms at Bank Court (adjacent, complete with water feature), and The Terrace - near Holliday Inn Express.

Arena Central Webcam: September 15 2020.

LIGHTING SCHEME

The strategy is quite simple: let the building do the talking! But that’s not to say the building won’t be washed with light.

The ground floor will be internally lit and will be occupied by units. The colonnades will also be uplit, with the metallic finish of the cladding assisting in illuminating the area even further.

The projecting metallic ‘hoods’ will also reflect light to provide a striking view when seen from below. Offices above, subject to operations, will too be lit.

This will undoubtedly create a random pattern of illumination that will complement the facades tessellating pattern, and become an Instagrammers dream.

With external works nearing completion, the internal fit-out - awarded to ISG - will commence in November and will complete in autumn 2021.

Words and pictures from Stephen Giles, with contributions from Daniel Sturley. Artists Impressions are from MAKE Architects.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Construction of The Oynx - April 2018- September 2020

The Oynx is in the final stages of completion, with students now moving into the building.

Stephen, Reiss, and Alan have followed this landmark student development every step of the way - dating back to April 2018. For all the images, including details on the project & renders, hit the post below.

Related

Construction is reaching its climax at The Oynx - a 1,025 bed purpose built student accommodation development located at Lancaster Circus.

Reaching 24 storeys (76m), the development sits on one of the most prominent sites in this area of the city, with close access to both Aston and Birmingham City Universities.

The scheme comprises two separate builds of 9-13 and 24 storeys, with extensive shared spaces available, including common rooms, study zones, health and fitness areas, and a cinema and living room on the 24th floor - offering views over the city.

An external communal amenity space is also provided within a central courtyard area opening out onto the south of the site.

Zero car parking provision has been allocated, however, a dedicated pick-up/drop-off area will be provided on Vesey Street.

In terms of bicycle storage, 256 secure spaces will be located on the lower ground floor.

Artists Impressions from Urban Innovations.

The development is being developed by MRP - the property and investment division of McAleer & Rushe. Urban Innovations are the architect of record, with AIG Global Real Estate forward funding the scheme to the tune of £100m - the largest PBSA deal in the UK, as well as the highest value deal outside of London.

LATEST UPDATE

September 12-13 2020:

Students are now moving into the building. There's still a few more tweaks to go before this one is completed! Also, a large 'To Let' sign hangs on the ground floor which could potentially offer some much needed commercial activity into the area.

September 4-10:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

JulyNew signage up!

May:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.

February:

Photo by Sherp.

2019

December:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

September:

Photos by Alan Webb.

August:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.

June:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

March:

Photo by Reiss Gordon-Henry.

February:

Photo by John Egan.

2018

December:

September:

May:

April:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.

Photos by Stephen Giles.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from Urban Innovations.

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Construction & regeneration
09 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Symphony Hall - August & Early September 2020

A superb gallery from Daniel, Elliott and Stephen in this August and early September update, with the project now on the home straight to completion!

Click the post for a new render and some exclusive interior pictures from Galliford Try Construction - many thanks to them for sharing. 

Related

INTERIOR UPDATE:  

The internal scaffolding has come down to reveal the new extended space that'll feature the new foyer and performance spaces. Take a look around and you'll see some cool new seating in the form of cascading stairs and integrated balconies.

All images the property of Galliford Try Construction.

AND HOW IT'LL LOOK ONCE COMPLETE:

Artist Impressions from Page/Park Architects.

EXTERIOR: 

September 5-7: 

Photos by Stephen Giles.

September 4:

August 29:

August 19: Pouring down with rain..

August 13-16:

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

August 7:

August 1:

Photos by Elliott Brown.

August 7-8:

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

August 3:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

'LET THE MUSIC PLAY'

PROJECT TEAM: 
DEVELOPER: Birmingham Performances Ltd
ARCHITECTS: Page\Park Architects
CONTRACTOR: Galliford Try Construction
PROJECT MANAGER: David Stanley Consulting
COST CONSULTANT: PMP Consultants
CLIENT ADVISOR: Invigour
PRINCIPAL DESIGNER: CDM Scotland
MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL: Max Fordham LLP
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: ARUP
ACOUSTIC: Hoare Lea
WEBSITE: https://making-an-entrance.thsh.co.uk/
Words & pictures from Stephen, with additional photos from Daniel & Elliott.
 
Artists Impressions from Page/Park Architects; Interior images from Galliford Try Construction.
 
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INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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Construction & regeneration
03 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: The Lamp Works

The Lamp Works, located on Great Hampton Street, has moved to the next stage of development with the formal signing of a Section 106 agreement – paving the way for the redevelopment of a rundown site.

For all renderings and a thorough lowdown on the scheme from Stephen, click 'View full post'.

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Blackswan Property (*Blackswan Developments (Barr Street) Ltd*) are bringing forward plans to construct 129 apartments within Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter, after a section 106 agreement was formally agreed this week (September 2020).

Six months on from gaining planning approval, The Lamp Works, bound by Great Hampton Street and Barr Street, will see the retention, conversion and partial demolition of existing, rundown buildings, and the erection of four/five storey new builds.

The development, designed by BPN Architects, will create a total of 129 one, two and three bed apartments, a ground floor commercial unit and inner courtyard; alongside car and cycle spaces.

A total floorspace of 11,852 sqm will be created, with 1,587 sqm primarily for commercial uses.

The residential element will deliver a total of 64 one, 54 two, and 11 three bed apartments – mainly available for rent.

To break this down even further: 14 one bed/one person apartments; 40 one bed/two person; 51 two bed/three person; 13 duplexes (10 one bed/two person & 3 two bed/four person); and 11 three bed/6 person apartments, will be provided.

13 of these (8 one & 5 two beds) will be available for low cost market rent; thereby adding to the accommodation mix.

20 vehicular spaces (15% provision) will serve the development, with an entrance onto Barr Street accommodating a small car park. 5 secure cycle stores providing up to 132 cycle spaces will also be incorporated.

DEMOLITIONS

A series of rundown industrial builds on Great Hampton Street and Barr Street will be demolished, despite protestations from Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), and Historic England.

Concerns were duly raised from both, believing demolition would cause significant harm to the fabric of Barr Street, and that the replacement builds were also too overbearing.

They did concede, however, that the Great Hampton Street building demolitions were justified.

In the end, Lamp Works required a careful balancing of the objections to the development against the huge public benefits of allowing the demolition and erection of these replacement builds.

** The site now has a clear route for the regeneration of what is essentially a rundown area, with the introduction of viable new uses, the restoration of historic buildings, the inclusion of courtyards and the construction of high-quality new buildings, in an area badly needing investment.

SO, WHAT’S MAKING WAY?

As outlined below, every building except 30-33 Great Hampton Street - occupied by Blue Nile restaurant - will be consigned to the history books.

These include the 2-3 storey buildings facing onto Great Hampton Street, home to Xtreme Mobiles, Vapour Devil and Mobile Base.

Great Hampton Street: Google Street View

On Barr Street, a line of six 2-3 storey buildings, currently vacant or being used as ad hoc storage will also be demolished.

In the centre of the site, the development team wish to retain a 3-storey skeletal steel frame from one of the buildings to act as the focus for a new courtyard space.

Barr Street: Google Street View

CONVERSION(S)

Blue Nile restaurant at 30 Great Hampton Street, is to be retained and refurbished, with first and second floors converted to provide 2 one bed & 2 two bedroom apartments.

New traditional shop fronts will be installed with new windows, brickwork and roofs fully restored.

The adjoining building at 33 Great Hampton Street is also set to be converted into a unit (usage yet to be decided) of 355 sqm on the ground floor, and one of 324 sqm on the first floor.

NEW BUILDS 

Five new builds of between 4 and 5 storeys will be constructed across the site.

Building A will see a four and five storey structure with a small single storey wing to the rear. It will provide 17 apartments, a ground floor commercial unit & a new internal courtyard.

Directly behind Building A will be three buildings of 4-storeys: B (27 units), C (20 units) and E (2 units).

Each build will be arranged around a central courtyard space which will accommodate the retained open steel frame, as seen below.

Building D (70 apartments) is to be 5 storeys tall and will front out onto Barr Street and the North West side of the courtyard area; it will also accommodate vehicular access into the site.

Buildings B-E will also provide apartment space.

Words by Stephen Giles. Artists Impressions from BPN Architects & Blackswan Property.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
26 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

APPROVED: HS2 Interchange Station & Automated People Mover

HS2 Interchange Station and an Automated People Mover have been formally approved!

The new environmentally-friendly station will seamlessly integrate with Birmingham Airport, International Station, the NEC, and other modes of transport to become the best-connected place in the UK. For full renderings of the new station and its exciting new APM - click the link below.

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HS2 Interchange will be the best-connected place in the UK by rail, air and road with customers able to reach London Euston in a mere 38 minutes.

The Station, designed to focus on open space and landscaping, will deliver two 415 metre long island platforms, offering 4 platform faces, as well as 2 central high speed through lines for non-stop services.

Interchange will be linked to the NEC (National Exhibition Centre), Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport via an automated people mover carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, with a link every three minutes along the 2.3km route.

In addition to the APM, the station will be fully integrated with buses, taxis and private vehicle options. 

Net zero carbon in operation, the station will adopt the latest environmentally friendly design and sustainable technologies including harvesting of rainwater and sustainable power generation with solar panels. 

CONSTRUCTION

Located within a triangle of land bound by the M42, A45 and A452, the site is already well underway with regards to preparatory work. Modular bridge structures are now being put in place on the site of the station, with a remodelling of the road network set to facilitate new access. Work is now set to ramp up in the coming months ahead.

THE IMAGES: HS2 INTERCHANGE

AUTOMATED PEOPLE MOVER:

NEC stop & over Pendigo Lake:

Birmingham Airport Stop:

 

Interchange Stop:

MAINTENANCE FACILITY:

Words by Stephen Giles; Artists Impressions from HS2 Ltd & ARUP.

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INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
26 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - July and August 2020

We've now reached the 27th floor on the main tower, with the main core now sitting pretty on level 29/30. It won’t be long now before it exceeds the 100m mark and saunters above Bank Tower II, adjacent.

Plenty of images here from our trusty team, with images going back to mid-July. Enjoy!

Related

The Mercian: Moda Reachtimelapse

Works have started in earnest on the 27th floor of this 42-storey development (132m), as seen above, with the core also continuing its upward surge and is almost at the 100m stage.

Facade works on the main tower is noticeably well advanced too; now wrapping itself around level 12, with the already topped-out 14-storey shoulder reaching the penultimate floor. Enjoy the mega update from Daniel, Stephen & Elliott.

17th August:

14-16th August:

2-3rd August:

16-31st July:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

21st July:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

11th August:

The Mercian

The Mercian

31st July:

The Mercian

25th July:

The Mercian

The Mercian

14th July:

The Mercian

The MercianPhotos by Elliott Brown.

Words by Stephen Giles.

TWITTER: @Buildsweare

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Construction & regeneration
24 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Construction of Lionel House: June 2019- August 2020

A new residential development is in full swing on Lionel Street. Lionel House, replaces a tired old Multi-storey car park and will, once complete, deliver much needed footfall in an area undergoing change. 

Stephen provides the details regarding the development, with full renderings and update shots from June 2019- to the present day.

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Lionel House is a new 14-storey build-to-rent (BTR) apartment complex project from Lionel House Developments Ltd and Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI).

The new building, on Lionel Street, replaces a tired looking 10-storey MSCP (Multi-storey car park), with the replacement building design meticulously referencing the materials of the surrounding buildings with its use of angled brickwork and precast stone panels - as seen below.

Landrow Place...

Artists Impressions from Benchmark Architects

Lionel House will comprise 259 one, two and three bedroom managed apartments, with the building delivering a residential mix of 156 one-bed, 90 two-bed and 13 three-bedroom apartments. But that's not all.

11,250 sqft amenity space will be primarily located on the ground floor, with full LED lighting & communal areas that'll feature a fitness room and kitchen, a 17-space car park and cycle storage for every resident.

A landscaped rooftop terrace is also incorporated and has been designed to give residents access to social rooms and an external social space with views over the city. 

NOW DEMOLISHED

Demolished MSCP: Google Street View

Lionel House is scheduled to complete in October 2021. Be sure to keep up to date on this development by following our Twitter account, and our Instagram.

PROGRESS UPDATE (Aug 2019-Aug 2020)

August 2020:

August 24 -

Image: Winvic Reachtimelapse

August 20-

Photo by Metrogogo.

August 18-

Image: Winvic Reachtimelapse

July:

June:

March: 

The structure starts to make an appearance on the skyline, this time from Sandpits:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

February:

August 21 2019:

Piling rig in situ.

June 6 2019:

Demolition shots..

Photos by Alan Webb.

Words by Stephen Giles.
Artist Impressions & webcam: Benchmark Architects & Winvic Construction.
 
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Construction & regeneration
17 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: 122 Moseley Street, Digbeth

122 Moseley Street, Digbeth, was approved at Planning Committee on Thursday morning (August 13), with the derelict site free to deliver residential apartments. Click 'View Full Post' for more on redevelopment plans.

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122 Moseley Street: Site plan

After two years of talks, 122 Moseley Street was finally approved 8-4 at planning committee on Thursday (August 13), with the developer, Tindlesouth Ltd, now free to commence work on site.

Designed by Sjölander da Cruz Architects, plans will see the demolition of a vacant, former vehicle workshop, and the construction of a replacement 5-storey building comprising 29 one and two bedroom apartments.

Importantly, the scheme brings back to life a derelict site with a sustainable redevelopment within the emerging Rea Urban Valley Quarter, which will deliver 10 one bed (34%) & 19 two bedroom apartments (66%).

The site will fit the plot fronting Moseley Street and Highgate Park to the rear - as seen in the site plan above.

Apartments will be arranged around a landscaped central courtyard that will be accessed by residents and space for 20 cycles.

Moseley Street elevation

Highgate Park elevation

NEIGHBOURS

The site is flanked by two businesses: Flex Fitness to the west & Cleary Irish Bar to the east, which had caused local residents to initially object to the 2018 scheme.

Residents highlighted potential issues relating to noise, explaining that the (noise) report submitted by the applicant was ‘fundamentally flawed’, as it didn't take into account that Clearys Bar has a 3:30am license to play live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm- midnight on Sundays.

After two years of talks, plans were thoroughly examined by officers and duly amended; apartments have since been repositioned away from the public house, with various walls in between offering further insulation.

Noise mitigation measures are in place moving forward, with the implementation of ventilation and specific glazing.

"The principle of residential development would accord with development plan policy at this location whilst the potential impact upon the future residential occupiers, as a result of the adjacent pub, has been considered in great detail and with the conditions attached would be mitigated to an acceptable level." - Birmingham City Council.

In terms of materiality, 122 Moseley Street will be constructed in lighter brick tones and darker recessed brick adjoining the windows.

The developer reaffirmed their stance that the policy compliant 35% affordable housing provision wasn't realistic to commence with, and would have made the development unviable; a sum of £58K, however, was previously agreed (August 2018) for the provision of off-site affordable housing.

Words by Stephen Giles.
Drawings by Sjölander da Cruz Architects
 
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Construction & regeneration
04 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Snow Hill Wharf - July & August Update

Excellent progress is being made on the brickwork across the site, with the tower now progressing to level 14, to the point where it is beginning to make an appearance on the skyline.

Click view full post for another fabulous update from Stephen, with new visuals of The Regent - The Gun Quarters tallest residential tower.

Related

The final phase of Snowhill Wharf was released this week.

The Regent, as it will be known, will be the Gun Quarters tallest residential tower - standing at 21 storeys tall (220 feet).

It currently resides on floor 14 - as the below pictures will show.

Backing up onto the canal system, The Regent will deliver a total of 108 one- and two-bedroom apartments, and even includes two top floor penthouses.

New visuals have officially been released this week, showing how the project sits within its new surroundings and the draw dropping views residents will have of the skyline.

UPDATE: August 1-4

The Colmore:

The Fazeley:

The Lancaster & The Barker:

From left to right: The Barker, The Lancaster, The Regent, The Colmore.

July 21

Words and photos by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from Berkeley Group.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Construction of 103 Colmore Row - July and August 2020

The structural steelwork has officially been constructed at the top of the building, with the elegant glass facade quickly catching up, and it's looking pristine. However, the best is yet to come!

Click the post for a tremendous gallery of update photos from Daniel, Stephen, and Elliott. 

Related

As the pictures show, the steelwork has reached the top floor, with the buildings stylish facade rapidly coming along.

The next phase of development will see the design & manufacturing of the glass facade (Focchi Group) for the top floor lantern restaurant, where restaurateurs will benefit from 8 metre high ceilings & breath-taking 360o views of the city. We cannot wait!

Enjoy the update.

1st August:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

31st July:

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

29th July:

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

25th July:

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

Photos by Elliott Brown.

24th July:

 

 
 
 
 
Photos by Daniel Sturley

21st July

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

Photos by Elliott Brown.

21st July:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

18 July:

103 Colmore Row

Photos by Elliott Brown.

 
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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Symphony Hall - July 2020

Designed to reconnect the city through the world class musical offerings at Symphony Hall, the new development is already a prominent new addition to Centenary Square.

Click 'view full post' for a wonderful set of images showcasing the development, with pictures from Stephen, Elliott and Daniel.

Related
TWITTER: Buildsweare

22nd July:

Photos by Stephen Giles

20th July:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

14th July:

Photos by Elliott Brown

AND HOW THE FRONTAGE WILL LOOK

A new application has surfaced showcasing revised plans for the metal gates/ decorated screens incorporating signage. These can be seen below:

The latest proposed artists impressions from Page/Park Architects.

PROJECT TEAM: 
DEVELOPER: Birmingham Performances Ltd
ARCHITECTS: Page\Park Architects 
CONTRACTOR: Galliford Try Construction
PROJECT MANAGER: David Stanley Consulting
COST CONSULTANT: PMP Consultants
MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL: Max Fordham LLP
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: ARUP
WEBSITE: https://making-an-entrance.thsh.co.uk/
TWITTER: Buildsweare

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Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Gun Quarter Projects: The Crown Works

If the Jewellery Quarter is the cool-kid, then the Gun Quarter is the dark sheep of the city. We take a look at the latest development to hit the Gun Quarter: The Crown Works. Recommended for approval on July 16th.

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'THE CROWN WORKS'

Recommendation: Approval

Brought forward by Czero Developments, The Crown Works is a BTR (Build to Rent) development of 203 one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses designed for modern city living, in an up and coming area of Birmingham.

Historically, the Gun Quarter (aka St. George & St. Chad) was at the heart of the world’s gun-manufacturing industry, and whilst it still creates, nowadays the area is changing in character and density, with new industrial style apartments and student digs.

Located on an unkempt stretch of Hanley Street/Lower Loveday Street, The Crown Works will deliver a sustainable new community that enhances the historic nature of the area, by providing a total of 91 one, 99 two and 13 three bedroom apartments - all exclusively for rent.

20 (10%) of the units are to be provided for low cost market rent at a 20% discount of market rent - comprising of 9 one bed & 11 two bedroom apartments. 

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

The development will range from 4-8 storeys tall and will comprise of shared landscaped gardens, public and private roof terraces, co-working spaces and two flexible ground floor commercial units.

It has been designed by London-based Claridge Architects – the architectural practice behind Timber Yard and Soho Loop.

Their design is contextual and has been formulated to offer a modern, enhanced interpretation of the area.

VIEWS: Looking up Summer Lane

All residents will have undiluted access to the facilities on offer, including: co-working space; an exercise studio; dining & meeting rooms; 970 sq.m of landscaped shared amenity space & a 290 sq.m landscaped roof garden.

19% of the apartments will profit from private amenity space.

This is the site as we know it today:

Summer Lane: Google Street Maps

...and how it'll look;

The above model shows the Summer Lane frontage, as well as the stepped down approach on Lower Loveday Street to the right.

The lower element has been designed to sympathetically reduce the impact on the locally listed building next door on Lower Loveday Street.

VIEWS: Lower Loveday Street looking towards Summer Lane

Here we see the massing increasing from 4 to 6 floors, before the tallest element reaches 8 storeys facing onto Summer Lane. The colour palette will be predominantly red/ brown brick tones.

The below model showcases the Hanley Street block elevation; this is a distinct one in that it introduces pitched roof space, which breaks up the scale of the massing.

It’s been designed to provide a contemporary interpretation of the areas industrial grain.

The pitched building will feature green/grey stock brick. This will go a long way to complimenting the red brick tones of the adjacent block. Decorative glazed ceramic spandrel panels will adorn the upper floors.

QUICK GLANCE: FLOOR BY FLOOR

Lower ground floor:

The scheme provides two flexible commercial spaces, with uses set to be decided by user demand. Access into the site will be located on Summer Lane, but will come with secondary accesses on Hanley Street and Lower Loveday Street.

Vehicular parking will be accessed off Hanley Street, where 29 cars, including 4 accessible spaces and electric charging points will be offered. 2 car parking spaces will be allocated for car sharing schemes. In addition, the proposal provides space for 11 motorcycles.

204 cycle parking spaces, with workshop space, will be included, and these will be split into two enclosed cycle stores. 

Ground floor:

On the ground floor, residents are met with a double height reception lobby with concierge. Services here include a fitness studio, co-working and meeting/dining space, plus the landscaped courtyard.

Upper floors:

Floors 1-5 of The Crown Works are fundamentally alike, with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Sixth floor: 

Here, the sixth floor offers duplex apartments and a fabulous array of private amenity space for those lucky enough to be occupying the upper floors. 

Roof terrace:

2017 ISSUES AND THE INTRODUCTION OF ‘CAZ’

The development site encompasses the Birmingham City Council 'Clean Air Zone', which aims to improve air quality through discouraging polluting vehicles from entering the City Centre. This will likely come into play across the city from 2021.

Back in 2017, Xian Developments came forward with an outline application for the site: this was withdrawn, before bursting back onto the scene with a full planning application - this was refused at committee for noise related issues, with objections from nearby companies.

Fast-forward to today and whilst there is a chance residents could complain about noise, it is worth noting that rooms are now located to the quieter courtyard side - making this application vastly different from the 2017 one.

The adjacent factory supplies parts to Jaguar Land Rover; they have now decided to relocate, thus potentially eliminating any obstacle. The factory will linger, however, but with no tenant.

‘CAZ’ is coming into effect: will companies want to pay £50 a day to drive a HGV into the City Centre?

The Crown Works goes to Planning Committee on July 16th at 11am.

Artists Impressions: Claridge Architects
 
TWITTER: @Buildsweare

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Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

New Digbeth Residential Project: 176-183 Moseley Street

A new 131-bed apartment scheme in Digbeth goes to Planning Committee later this week - and it's recommended for approval. This is 176-183 Moseley Street.

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176-183 MOSELEY STREET

Recommendation: Approval subject to a S106 agreement

Brought forward by Euro Property Investments, 176-183 Moseley Street is a PRS (Private Rental Scheme) development of 131 one, two and duplex apartments in the ever-evolving Digbeth district of Birmingham.

Positioned at the junction of Moseley Street and Alcester Street, the development will see demolition of a rundown industrial site before a part 6, part 7 storey new build can commence.

The development encompasses the emerging Rea Valley Urban Quarter (more below) and will be set around a landscaped internal courtyard, with apartments boasting balconies and open terraces.

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

Yeme Architects have designed this contemporary apartment block, with the project framed to maximise the potential of the site by aiding much-needed regeneration.

The mix of apartments will deliver a total of 66 one and 65 two & duplex bedroom units; with the proposal meeting a wide range of housing needs through the addition of larger duplex units, and a range of sizes for the one and two bedroom apartments. 

The new development will repair the damage caused by the current crop of buildings by redefining the street and bringing a much needed visual benefit to the area.

The massing will been subdivided into distinct blocks to help reduce its scale on adjacent streets. It'll wrap entirely around the footprint of the site, allowing for a communal courtyard facility, with balcony space; each unit will have some element of private outdoor space, be it balcony or terrace.

Given the proximity to the Eastside-leg of the Midland Metro Tram - set to kick off in 2021, provision has been made for 188 secure cycle spaces and just 19 vehicles. Both will be situated on the lower ground floor, accessed via Moseley Street.

Two pedestrian access points will be included - the first from Moseley Street via steps, and the second from Alcester Street, where access to the inner courtyard will be provided. Lifts will serve all floor levels.

Interestingly, Birmingham City Council's Transportation Department have requested a S278 agreement requesting a new footway crossing and a redundant one reinstated prior to development being occupied.

AFFORDABILITY

The developer has explained that their return would not be sufficient to support 35% affordable housing, and one that would make the development unviable.

Nevertheless, 13 Low Cost Home Ownership dwellings (8 one & 5 two bed) will be available at 80% of market value – providing a minimum of 10% on site affordable housing.

FIRST UP: DEMOLITION

The existing site contains poor quality buildings and a large forecourt ruled by car parking.

Small wholesale, manufacturing and retail businesses currently operate from these units. Plans will result in the loss/relocation of 6 businesses - a loss of circa.20 jobs.

REA VALLEY URBAN QUARTER 

The Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD encompasses the front part of this site, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime prospect for the City.

But what is it? 

It's an aspiration that seeks to create a linear park/green leafy space spanning the length of Moseley Street, eventually linking up with the future Smithfield redevelopment & Highgate Park.

It will attempt to eradicate vehicular traffic other than for access to properties along Moseley Street and endorse increased footfall along the route.

The River Rea is a notoriously under-utilised asset in the city and one with the potential to act as a major catalyst for high-quality regeneration schemes.

Aspirations include opening-up the river bank to create an exceptional public space with sustainable new residential and commercial developments either side.

And this is where 176-183 Moseley Street comes in. Due to the location, the design response from Yeme has seen the building set-back to incorporate greenery and, together with balcony spaces facing the street, reflects the future ambitions for the creation of a green and active street.

You can read the draft document here: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/rea-valley-spd/

176-183 Moseley Street goes to Planning Committee on July 16th 2020.

Words by Stephen Giles with artists Impressions from Yeme Architects.

TWITTER: @Buildsweare

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Construction & regeneration
03 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
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The Construction of Snow Hill Wharf - June 2020

Update! Fab movement at Snow Hill Wharf - the Gun Quarter’s newest development that will bring a much needed 420 apartments to the area.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

Superb images once more from Stephen and Reiss - two guys who have been following SHW from the start. For a full June update, with renders and info regarding the development - hit the link below.

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Artists Impression from GRID Architects/ Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher

There's been excellent progress on site since the site recommenced after lockdown. The main tower, which will rise to 21 storeys, is now presiding on its 11th floor.

Three of the four smaller blocks have now officially reached their full height and fabulous new feature roofs are being applied.

Brickwork also continues at a steady pace across the blocks.⁣

⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣LATEST IMAGES

Photos by Stephen Giles

June 17th:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry

PLANS & RENDERS 

Brought forward by prominent developer, Berkeley Homes, Snow Hill Wharf will deliver five new buildings, with a 21-storey tower, comprising 420 one, two and three bedroom apartments; these will yield a total of 185 one, 215 two & 20 three bedrooms.

Snow Hill Wharf will facilitate three landscaped podium gardens and residents-only facilities, featuring a gymnasium, sauna, steam room, cinema and lounge. 143 car parking spaces are provided, including 5 EV, and space for 420 bicycles.

Artists Impressions from GRID Architects & Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher

Snow Hill Wharf is scheduled to complete in early 2022.

Words by Stephen Giles. Pictures by Stephen & Reiss Gordon-Henry

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Construction & regeneration
29 Jun 2020 - Stephen Giles
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Construction of Symphony Hall - June 2020

A new milestone has been achieved at Symphony Hall with the installation of glass. For a full June update with pictures from Stephen, Daniel and new updated proposals from Page/Park Architects, click the full post below.

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LATEST IMAGES

26th/27th June:

Photos by Stephen Giles

June 14th:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

AND HOW THE FRONTAGE WILL LOOK

A new application has surfaced showcasing revised plans for the metal gates/ decorated screens incorporating signage. These can be seen below:

The latest proposed artists impressions from Page/Park Architects.


PROJECT TEAM: 
DEVELOPER: Birmingham Performances Ltd
ARCHITECTS: Page\Park Architects 
CONTRACTOR: Galliford Try Construction
PROJECT MANAGER: David Stanley Consulting
COST CONSULTANT: PMP Consultants
MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL: Max Fordham
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: ARUP
WEBSITE: https://making-an-entrance.thsh.co.uk/
 
Words by Stephen Giles. Photos by Daniel Sturley & Stephen.

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