Stephen J. Giles

Passion Points: 28K

Construction & regeneration
23 Jul 2021 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Hockley Mills - July 2021

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Hockley Mills has long been a vital part of Birmingham's history and, in time, it is going to be a hive of activity once more.

The major BtR (build to rent) development will deliver 395 new rented homes on Pitsford Street, alongside 28,000 sq ft of flexible commercial usages & a new entrance to Jewellery Quarter train station.

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IMAGE: Google Maps/ 33 Pitsford Street, Jewellery Quarter
 
JULY UPDATE:

MAY 2021:

MARCH 2021:

Construction images: Stephen Giles.

HOCKLEY MILLS QUICK OVERVIEW:

Hockley Mills is a £105M BtR mixed-use redevelopment featuring eight new buildings.

Situated next to Jewellery Quarter Train station, 395 rented properties will be delivered within one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments & duplexes; landscaped courtyard spaces & 28,000K of flexible commercial space for leisure, offices and retail usages, will also be formed.

With the site also seeing a new entrance to Jewellery Quarter station, ample cycle storage spaces will be incorporated alongside a covered car park area for 116 vehicles.

The site was recently acquired by Legal & General, on behalf of its BTR Access Development Partnership - a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and PGGM.

With Glancy Nicholls the architects behind the major scheme, Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) - contractor - now acts as developer, with completion estimated for Q4 2023.

All CGIs are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
22 Jul 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Landmark Digbeth regeneration scheme approved

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The landmark Upper Trinity Street regeneration scheme in Digbeth, which would see buildings of up to 32 storeys, has now been unanimously backed by the City Council this morning (July 22nd, 2021).

For all the information & renderings for UTS, just follow the post.

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Cole Waterhouse (*Trinity (CW) Ltd*) are now free to create a unique new cultural, commercial and residential neighbourhood - reinforcing Digbeth's sense of community by providing 24/7 facilities to allow creatives, businesses and leisure activities to thrive.

The five-phase redevelopment, designed by Corstorphine + Wright, will see the delivery of nine new buildings of up to 32 storeys, creating hundreds of new jobs.

The ambitious development ultimately responds to the city council's ambitious vision to achieve a 24/7 Digbeth, as set out through the Curzon HS2 Masterplan & emerging draft Digbeth Masterplan. 

943 NEW HOMES & 65K OF MIXED-USE CREATIVE, RETAIL, LEISURE & WORKSPACES.

Ranging from 2 to 32 storeys, 943 new 1-3 bed apartments & duplexes (private/ BtR/ 13 live/work) will be created alongside 65,000 sq ft of mixed-use creative, retail, leisure and workspace, as well as a potential standalone 133-bed hotel.

With roof gardens provided, a series of additional spaces including artwork, private yards and public parks will also be created, including Pump House Park; named after the former Victorian Pump House. The 18th century locally listed building here will be kept, refurbished, and celebrated as a focal point within the new park; and used for community use.

The fifth phase could potentially also see a new eight-storey hotel. Currently listed as 'flexible', the hotel is dependent on demand. If realised, however, it will occupy a key location overlooking the site’s new Skypark on Duddleston Viaduct.

Upper Trinity Street could be fully operational by 2029/2030.

SO, PHASE 1

Phase 1 will now see the delivery of 376 new homes & 41,159 sq ft of commercial space, creating one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments & duplexes, across three interlinked buildings of 15-16 storeys (A, B & C), all connected via a podium.

Car parking for 66 will be based here.

PHASES 2-5:

PHASE 2: Blocks E, F & G (5-10 storeys)
PHASE 3: Block H (32 storeys)
PHASE 4: Block J (19 storeys) 
PHASE 5: (flexible) Hotel (8 storeys)


CONDITIONS AGREED WITH APPROVAL

a) £1.28 million highway improvements to upgrade Upper Trinity Street with new street furniture, lay-bys, two pedestrian crossings and the planting and retention of trees.

b) £3.48 million public realm improvements & the delivery of Pump House Park, Pump House Passage and Adderley Yard.

c) Securing Pat Benson Community Sport Foundation as a tenant within the ground floor at Unit 1 Block A (or another tenant), at 75% rent discount.

d) Securing Museum of Youth Culture and Birmingham Music Archive as a tenant within the ground floor at Unit 1 Block E (or another tenant), at 50% rent discount.

PROJECT TEAM:

DEVELOPER: Cole Waterhouse
ARCHITECTS: Corstorphine + Wright/ Exterior Architecture Landscape
PROJECT MANAGER/ QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Henry Riley LLP
PLANNING CONSULTANT: Barton Willmore
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Renaissance Associates
MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL (M&E): Novo Integration
TRANSPORT: Mode Transport Planning
FUNDING PARTNERS: TBC
CONTRACTOR: TBC
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Construction & regeneration
20 Jul 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

12-storey Southside block set for approval

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The proposed redevelopment of a rundown site in the vibrant Southside district to enable the creation of a new 12-storey apartment building looks set to be green lit.

Prosperity Developments are behind the plans at 16 Kent Street.

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With Southside positively booming, a new 12-storey apartment block on Kent Street looks set to finally be given the nod.

Prosperity Developments is seeking the green light from Birmingham City Council to develop 16 Kent Street, currently the site of a 3-storey office block with lower ground floor bar and nightclub.

The car-free development will deliver 116 apartments & two ground-floor commercial units – likely to be drinking establishments – over 9-12 storeys, in a mixture of 52, one-bedroom, and 64 two-beds (2-4 person accommodation).

11 affordable units will be allocated for affordable low-cost housing.

Designed to sit at the back of the pavement and wrap around the street corner with new prominent entrances and a well-arranged ground floor, the development is expected to appeal to those working within the immediate area.

With 116 cycle spaces provided at ground level, some units will profit from Juliet balconies on the upper floors, with a 341sqm landscaped courtyard also provided for residents’ at first floor level.

NOISE

Although policy strongly dictates that residential would support the growth of Southside – and the developments next door currently under construction and proposed, strengthen that claim – the emergence of new homes within the area – predominately adjacent to entertainment venues – has proven to be quite a thorny issue, with noise concerns duly raised.

The site in question is located directly opposite the Nightingale nightclub.

After much work behind the scenes, mitigation agreements are in place between all parties, which has seen the building meticulously designed with input from a team of specialists.

To further abate concerns, prior to occupation, the building will also require a commissioning test to ensure the mitigation works achieve the desired noise mitigation.

Plans go to Planning Committee on Thursday, July 22nd, at 11 am.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
08 Jul 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

New 130-apartment scheme for 260 Bradford Street

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Birmingham-based property developer, Hanehouse Developments, has unveiled plans to redevelop a vehicle repair building with a major mixed use scheme, with street-facing commercial units and a pedestrianised public realm.

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The site will be comprehensively redeveloped to create three distinctive new blocks - sensitive to the historic fabric of Digbeth - containing 130 new homes, in sizes ranging from six storeys to Green Street & eight storeys to Bradford Street. 
 
Providing 45 one, 78 two & 7 three-bedroom apartments, in a mixture of 1-4-person accommodation, 260 Bradford Street will also feature two ground floor commercial units (2,236 sq ft) on Bradford Street, along with services and amenities for residents.
 

Developed in consultation with Birmingham City Council, the proposal includes the creation of a brand-new public realm that will eventually connect Lombard Street through to Green Street and onto Digbeth High Street via The Stone Yard development.

The landscaped public thoroughfare is part of the wider Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD that was adopted back in October 2020 – further supporting Digbeth’s ongoing regeneration.

To Bradford Street, the building divides into three elements of 8 storeys. To Green Street, the small frontage is filled with a single 6-storey block, matching that of The Forge development adjacent; this building is independent with its own entrance and facilities.

The site is located close to a future tram stop, and with Birmingham City Council (BCC) bringing forward plans to make Bradford Street a cycle highway, zero car parking provision is provided; however, 130 cycles minimum will be allocated & accessed from the central corridor.

All images are the property of K4 Architects

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
08 Jul 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

INTRODUCING: OASIS, SOUTHSIDE

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Oasis, Southside is the latest ambitious development to be proposed for the area, with 456 new homes set to revitalise a rundown site.

The plans lie within Chinatown and Theatreland – one of the city’s most vibrant and diverse cultural scenes. For all the renders and more, follow the post below.

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Southside is starting to realise its vast potential. 

Several major proposals have hit the area in recent months, with rundown sites set to be sparked into life in the coming years with the delivery of high-quality buildings and much-needed new homes.

This latest proposal for the area, lying as it does within one of the city's most vivacious and diverse cultural scenes, is Oasis, a 2.5 brownfield acre site that will deliver a mixed use scheme containing 456 homes.

Spread over eight new buildings of 6-13 storeys, all builds will be set around a central courtyard space, with the site set to comprise 178 one-bed, 278 two-bed and 10 two-bed duplexes (2-4 persons).

With over 5500 sq ft of commercial space earmarked on Kent Street, Oasis will also feature a private 7000 sq ft rooftop terrace, a large resident lounge & gym, and ‘The Avenue’ - a new landscaped tree-lined boulevard linking Lower Essex Street and Gooch Street North.

'The Avenue' will ultimately offer better connectively across the area and, rather significantly, allows the southern part of the site to be brought forward for redevelopment.

Offering a strong street presence, materials and colour choices are sensitive to its context, as well as being robust and long-lasting. It will be constructed in medium red stock brick & reconstituted stone, with the design further complimented by an elegant ground floor arch across the site.

26 basement car parking spaces are to be provided, alongside 1:1 cycling provision.

Plans have been brought forward by Oasis Southside Ltd (Birmingham Property Group), in collaboration with The Gooch Estate.

All images are the property of the architect, Broadway Malyan.
 
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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

NEW 15 STOREY BLOCK FOR LADYWOOD

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‘The Five’ involves the demolition of Ladywood Social Club - vacant since 2019, and the construction of an L-shaped new build containing 144 apartments over 12-15 storeys.

Follow the link for more on this regeneration project.

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Designed in a strong and simple aesthetic, this Zayma Ltd (MIA Property Group) regeneration of Ladywood Social Club will see the delivery of 61 one, 72 two & 11 three-bedroom apartments.

50 will be openly available within a mixed tenure of rented, shared-ownership & private sale at discounted rates - with all homes above the national minimum space standards and providing full disabled access.



Amenities will include a central ground floor area (545sqm) providing communal open space alongside the Ladywood Road frontage, with the nearest public open space within Chamberlain Gardens - a mere five-minute walk away.

A spacious and light central atrium at the corner of Ladywood Middleway and Leyburn Road has been meticulously implemented. This will contain pedestrian footfall & access via two lifts and stairs to all floors, including ground floor and basement car parking; of which 59 vehicles (4 disabled) will be allocated alongside 10 motorcycle & 159 bicycles (14 visitor spaces).



Mature landscaping will see new trees planted and hedgerows along the edges of the site to form a leafy screen. A new footpath along Leyburn Road will also be formed.

From a materiality perspective, the building will be built in a majority red brick facade with light grey aluminium windows & light grey cladding.

All images are the property of Architectural Design Consultancy & Latimer Planning.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: 116 BRADFORD STREET, DIGBETH

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116 Bradford Street has today received the go-ahead to deliver a residential-led scheme of 38 new homes, a ground-floor office suite, and a private courtyard.

The six-storey development will repair the plots lost building frontage.

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Sat at the top end of Bradford Street, next to Bradford Court Business Centre, this ‘C’ shaped infill project will see the reinstation of the plots lost building frontage with a new six-storey new build.

Designed in a simple grid pattern with deep reveals, the development is being brought forward by local company, Propertytrade Ltd, with K4 Architects designing the scheme.

38 one & two-bedroom apartments (40-73.6sqm), in a mixture of 8 one-bed and 21 two-bedroom flats (1-3/5 persons), will be created - including the allocation of 6 affordable units.

A 64.3sqm ground floor commercial unit (Class E) – spanning the majority of the ground floor – will also be prominently placed facing onto the street.

For residents, a private courtyard will be provided at ground level, with individual terrace areas facing into the courtyard.

There will be zero car parking provision available, however, cycle storage for 38 bicycles will be included – again, within the courtyard.

The existing site, which will be demolished, currently houses a partially derelict industrial structure & a makeshift car park

EXISTING SITE: 116 Bradford Street/ Google Street View

All project renderings are the property of K4 Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: CORNWALL HOUSE, JQ

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Major plans for 101 new homes in the Jewellery Quarter, next door to the city’s iconic BT Tower, have been approved - despite concerns over noise.

HBD are behind plans that will see the tired site demolished and transformed with two new residential blocks and vibrant ground floor commercial space.

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The 'L' shaped scheme, designed by BPN Architects, will see a new part 6-12 storey block fronting onto Ludgate Hill & Lionel Street, with a striking standalone three-storey within the site’s courtyard.

50 one-bed & 51-two bedroom apartments (1-2/4 persons) will be created, with 11 affordable units provided.

To add vibrancy to the scheme, two ground floor commercial units (Class E/ 218sqm) will be provided, offering an extension to what is already a bustling commercial street scene.

On-site amenities include a courtyard, workspaces, lounges, and a gymnasium. The upper floors of the six-storey will even feature an intimate 275sqm rooftop garden space.

Designed and finished in dark red & light red-orange brick, it’ll feature bespoke glazed terracotta that will offer decorative detailing and give a subtle nod to Birmingham’s architectural past.

There will be vehicular spaces for 7 cars alongside secure ground floor cycle spaces for 106.

With noise concerns expressed through several objections prior to committee, the new homes will include appropriate façade materials and a full mechanical ventilation recovery system (MVHR) to all apartments.

CORNWALL HOUSE: Google Street View

All renders are the property of BPN Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: SIX BUILDS, 551 HOMES & A 30-STOREY TOWER

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Approval has been granted for 551 new homes in Southside - next to the Birmingham Smithfield redevelopment.

Six builds, including sub-blocks & a strategically placed 30-storey tower, will be built alongside vibrant commercial, new pedestrian routes & a multitude of amenities befitting a high-quality BTR scheme.

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With Southside seeing a raft of ambitious proposals lately, this Sherlock Street site represents a golden opportunity to push the city core outwards by creating a vibrant new residential community in the city.

Watkins Jones Group will now press ahead and develop this underwhelming site by transforming it with builds ranging from five, nine, ten, 11, 13 & 30 storeys.

The tallest will become a high-quality new marker building within the emerging Smithfield & Rea Valley Urban neighbourhood.

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the scheme will deliver 228 one-bed, 290 two-bed and 33 three-bed flats (1-5 persons), including 47 affordable rented apartments.

To further boost vibrancy, each building will include flexible commercial spaces facing onto their respective streets, with the scheme also providing an array of amenities, including a 24/7 concierge, wellbeing hub, lounges, workspaces, two landscaped courtyards, and roof gardens.

A new publicly accessible courtyard will also be formed - providing a direct pedestrian route from Sherlock Street to the city centre and beyond.

36 vehicles will be made available alongside 610 bicycle & motorcycle spaces.

Fresh—the management arm of Watkins Jones Group—will operate the scheme once the development is up and running.

All images are the property of Glenn Howells Architects.

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10 passion points
Construction & regeneration
23 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

101 NEW HOMES SET FOR THE JQ?

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Two new residential blocks containing 101 new homes are recommended for approval in a prime spot in the Jewellery Quarter, right next door to the city’s iconic BT Tower - but noise fears crop up once more.

 

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HBD are behind plans that will see the existing Cornwall House on Ludgate Hill demolished and transformed with two residential blocks and vibrant ground floor commercial space.

Designed by BPN Architects, the ‘L’ shaped scheme will see the creation of a part 6-12 storey block fronting onto Ludgate Hill & Lionel Street, with a striking standalone three-storey within the site’s courtyard.

50 one-bed & 51-two-bedroom apartments (1-2/4 persons) are to be created, with 11 affordable units allocated.

To add vibrancy to the scheme, two ground floor commercial units (Class E/ 218sqm) will be provided, offering an extension to what is already a bustling commercial street scene.

On-site amenities include a courtyard, workspaces, lounges, and a gymnasium. The upper floors of the six-storey will even feature an intimate 275sqm rooftop garden space.

Designed and finished in dark red & light red-orange brick, it’ll feature bespoke glazed terracotta that will offer decorative detailing and give a subtle nod to Birmingham’s architectural past.

There will be vehicular spaces for 7 cars alongside secure ground floor cycle spaces for 106.

HOWEVER, CONCERNS!

Regulatory Services have objected to the scheme over noise levels from nearby late-night establishments, whom have licences to play live music until 03:00am.

"(Regulatory Services) appreciate that this is a significant scheme and will serve to provide regeneration of the area and note the additional information provided but cannot agree with the mitigation scheme which relies on openable windows being kept closed by occupants to address noise nuisance issues."

To allay noise fears, which have become more and more commonplace in recent committee meetings, HBD has provided an updated noise report and further technical information.

"It advises that acceptable internal noise levels can be achieved within the dwellings through the appropriate selection of critical façade materials and a full mechanical ventilation recovery system (MVHR) to all apartments, omitting the need for occupants to open windows to maintain a comfortable internal environment.

"The entertainment venues are not directly adjacent or opposite the application site and the insulation and glazing specifications should limit music noise from these venues reaching the apartments.

"NPPG guidance also states that closing windows is a valid strategy for dealing with noise. The proposed apartments do not feature balconies which would not be appropriate in this location due to the potential noise issues and the impact on the conservation area."

CURRENT SITE

EXISTING SITE: Cornwall House - now vacant/ Google Street View

Plans go to committee tomorrow (24th June 2021) at 11 am.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
22 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

116 BRADFORD STREET SET FOR APPROVAL

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116 Bradford Street will be repaired to deliver a residential-led scheme of 38 new apartments, a ground-floor office suite, and private courtyard.

The six-storey infill development goes to Planning Committee on Thursday (June 24th 2021), with approval recommended.

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Sat at the top end of Bradford Street, next to Bradford Court Business Centre, this ‘C’ shaped infill project will see the reinstation of the plots lost building frontage with a new six-storey new build.

Designed in a simple grid pattern with deep reveals, the development is being brought forward by local company, Propertytrade Ltd, with K4 Architects designing the scheme.

38 one & two-bedroom apartments (40-73.6sqm), in a mixture of 8 one-bed and 21 two-bedroom flats (1-3/5 persons), will be created - including the allocation of 6 affordable units.

A 64.3sqm ground floor commercial unit (Class E) – spanning the majority of the ground floor – will also be prominently placed facing onto the street.

For residents, a private courtyard will be provided at ground level, with individual terrace areas facing into the courtyard.

There will be zero car parking provision available, however, cycle storage for 38 bicycles will be included – again, within the courtyard.

The existing site, which will be demolished, currently houses a partially derelict industrial structure & a makeshift car park

EXISTING SITE: 116 Bradford Street/ Google Street View

All project renderings are the property of K4 Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
22 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVAL TIPPED FOR 551 BTR FLATS AND 30-STOREY TOWER

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Major proposals for 551 BtR apartments covering eight new buildings on Sherlock Street, including a strategically placed 30-storey tower, have been recommended for approval.

Plans go to Planning Committee on the 24th of June, at 11 am. Follow the link for more.

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Watkins Jones Group are behind the plans that will see the underwhelming site transformed with builds ranging from five, nine, ten, 11, 13 & 30 storeys.

The tallest is to become a high-quality new marker building within the emerging Smithfield & Rea Valley Urban neighbourhood

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the scheme would feature 228 one-bed, 290 two-bed and 33 three-bed flats (1-5 persons), including 47 affordable rented apartments.

To boost vibrancy, each build will include flexible commercial spaces facing onto their respective streets, with the scheme also providing an array of amenities including a 24/7 concierge, wellbeing hub, lounges, workspaces, two landscaped courtyards, and roof gardens.

A new publicly accessible courtyard will be positioned at ground floor level, enabling a new and attractive public space, and creating a direct pedestrian route from Sherlock Street to the city centre and beyond.

There would be car parking for 36 vehicles – including 8 accessible, and 610 bicycle & motorcycle spaces, available.

All images are the property of Glenn Howells Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

OLD SNOBS BUILDING SET FOR NEW LIFELINE

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Approval has been granted to turn Beneficial House into serviced apartments, complete with an extension & rooftop terrace space.

Lying vacant and shrouded in scaffolding for many years, the building - which many will know as 'Old Snobs' - is set for a lifeline. Follow the link for more.

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CoLiCo Living has been granted consent to convert the building into 145 serviced apartments, alongside an additional 9 apartments through a set back one-storey extension with open-air roof terrace; and to turn the ground floor commercial unit - also vacant - into a 24/7 public gym.

Plans drawn up by DAY Architectural will see new windows installed & the inverted corner of the building recladded.

Studio, one & two-bedroom apartments (25-135sqm) will be provided, with each dwelling composed of cooking, bathroom, and sleeping areas.

Apartments facing Suffolk Street Queensway will even have the added benefit of having private balcony spaces.

Besides the roof terrace, more amenities are to be placed on the ground floors and these will contain a reception, management office, and a media/ TV area.

Cycle storage will be allocated to the rear, with a new access point created from Swallow Street.

The building will be rebranded as ‘Paradise View’ with CoLiCo Living now striving to get the building occupational sometime in 2022.

All images are the property of DAY Architectural.

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10 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

OLD SNOBS BUILDING SET FOR NEW LIFELINE

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Approval has been granted to turn Beneficial House into serviced apartments, complete with extension & rooftop terrace space.

Shrouded in scaffolding for many years, the building - which many will know as 'Old Snobs' - is set for a lifeline. Follow the link for more.

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CoLiCo Living has been granted consent to convert the building into 145 serviced apartments, alongside an additional 9 apartments through a set back one-storey extension with open-air roof terrace; and to turn the ground floor commercial unit - also vacant - into a 24/7 public gym.

Plans drawn up by DAY Architectural will see new windows installed, new doors added to the vacant ground floor unit & the inverted corner of the building re-cladded.

Studio, one & two-bedroom apartments (25-135sqm) will be provided, with each dwelling composed of cooking, bathroom, and sleeping areas.

Apartments facing Suffolk Street Queensway will even have the added benefit of having private balcony spaces.

Besides the roof terrace, more amenities are to be placed on the ground floors and these will contain a reception, management office, and a media/ TV area.

Cycle storage will be allocated to the rear, with a new access point created from Swallow Street.

The building will be rebranded as ‘Paradise View’ with CoLiCo striving to get the building occupational sometime in 2022.

All images are the property of DAY Architectural.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

EXCITING NEW ADDITION TO THE GUN QUARTER

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In an area experiencing a transformational rebirth, with residential & student uses co-mingling, and with more to come, 43 Cliveland Street is the latest development for the Gun Quarter.

For more on the latest development to hit the Gun Quarter, follow the link.

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This simple yet confident development of 20 (1-2 bed) apartments and a ground floor commercial unit, will instantly boost and repair this stretch of Cliveland Street.

Plans - which will deliver 10 one & 10 two-bedroom units in 2-4 person accommodation - are being brought forward by Cliveland 43 Ltd.

Designed by Scapolan Burney, each apartment will enjoy floor-to-ceiling glazing along with spacious, private amenity terraces offering views over the canal & towards the Central Business District (CBD).

The existing building, a former recording studio building currently set back from the street, will be demolished before this five-storey new build sets about repairing the plot and re-establishing the pavement line.

To supplement this and further boost vibrancy, a 332sqm flexible commercial unit (Class E) will be provided at ground floor level.

A residential lobby, bike storage for 20, including a cycle workshop, refuse areas, lift access and staircases, will all be provided.

IMAGE: Google Street View

All project images are the property of Scapolan Burney

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Construction of The Mercian - June 2021 Update

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Having reached its full height the crown on this landmark 42 storey tower has now been installed alongside a 40th floor terrace - just as the facade continues to inch its way up the 132m building with just a few floors to go.

Follow the construction photo update covering April to 6th June for cracking images from Daniel, Stephen, John & Elliott.

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The 40th floor terrace (3.1m in size) will be created at both ends of the building, adding visual interest to the top of the tower. These terraces will be surrounded by a 3.5m high balustrade to provide a safe environment for residents.

Eventually, the facade will wrap around it to continue its relationship with the rest of the building, with the top finished in a slightly lighter coloured bronze fin panel, providing an elegant crown element to the landmark building.

JUNE

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

MAY

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

Photos by Elliott Brown.

APRIL

Photos by John Gilbert.

Photo by Warwick Dan.

Photos by Elliott Brown.

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

MARCH:

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

Photos by Stephen Giles.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

366 New Homes For Moseley Street, Digbeth

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Controversial plans to erect two new blocks containing 366 apartments adjacent to a busy public house, has finally been approved (10th June 2021).

The scheme represents an opportunity to bring this desolate site back to life by delivering a high-quality scheme in a prominent location.

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This derelict, unkempt site is connected by Moseley Street, Moseley Road and Cheapside, and within proximity to Highgate Park.

Rainier Developments are now free to transform the site with the delivery of 366 new one, two & three-bedroom homes (42-91sqm) in two ‘U-shaped’ blocks of 5 and 8 storeys tall.

Designed by BDP Architects, the development inherently responds to the gradient of Moseley Street and incorporates architecture and features that are truly distinctive and relatable to the character and history of the area.

A fresh £500,000 pedestrianised street named 'Park Lane' will dissect the site by providing a superbly designed landscaped public thoroughfare between Cheapside and Moseley Street, enhancing permeability and adding further informal animation to the area.

Vibrant ground floor uses of both blocks will each contain amenity areas, including lounges, concierge, bike stores and other back of house facilities.

Two spacious private courtyards, 1,608sqm in total, will also be provided, with at least a third of the flats having access to private amenity space via a garden, roof terrace or balcony.

A car-free development, the scheme ultimately reacts to the emerging Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD by allocating 388 secure cycle spaces instead; and these will be available on the ground floor of each block.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

147 one, 207 two, 12 three-bedroom apartments (1-5 persons) will be delivered here, including 33 affordable one & two-bed units. These will be available for low-cost home ownership (9%).

To further support contribution, the Park Lane public realm works, as mentioned above, will cost around £500K, providing the equivalent of 12% affordability.

NOISE ISSUES - MITIGATION MEASURES IN PLACE

However, the proposal wasn't without its troubles. It all stems from 46 flats that will face Cleary’s Irish Bar.

Various noise assessments were undertaken, but an agreement could not be reached between Cleary’s & Rainier. This ultimately led to councillors voting to side with the Public House before voting to ‘defer minded to refuse’ on May 13th 2021.

Although it is widely accepted that the vast majority of units would enjoy a suitable noise environment, a planning balance needed to be struck and was indeed struck. 

The development was approved 7-3, with all 46 apartments within Block B now requiring careful assessment & noise mitigation measures moving forward.

All parties agreed that all affected units will be fitted with mechanical ventilation systems, acoustic glazing & their windows sealed to protect both residents & Cleary’s.

The level of glazing will be dependent on the results of an additional noise survey prior to the occupation of the building.

All images the property of BDP Architects

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Construction of Alexander Stadium - June 2021

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New images from IYB shows how the £72.4 million centrepiece of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games spectacular is taking shape.

With construction well advanced, the new stadium is earmarked for completion in Spring 2022.

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Superb progress is being made on the new tiered West Stand at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, on the grounds of Perry Park.

The stadium will also see the introduction of new tiered seating to the north and south, alongside a new 400m, six-lane warm-up track.

Planning permission was granted in January with Northern Irish construction firm McLaughlin & Harvey (MCLH) confirmed as the contractor - and they’ve not looked back since.

Designed by Arup, with Mace Group as project manager, the stadium will house around 30,000 spectators during the Games, before reverting to a permanent capacity of 18,000 post-Games - still comfortably one of the largest permanent facilities capable of hosting major athletics in the UK.

It will then become a focal point of health, well-being, sport, academic and community activity in a vastly improved Perry Park as part of the wider Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme – which will see over £500million invested in new housing, public space & infrastructure over the next decade.

It'll continue to serve as home to the Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club and will even introduce Birmingham City University and up to 1000 sports and exercise students, as a new anchor tenant.

Funding has come from Birmingham City Council (£27.4million), WMCA (£20million) and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (£20million).

Images by Stephen Giles.

GAMES MODE:

LEGACY MODE (Post Games):

Words by Stephen Giles, with all CGIs the property of ARUP/ Birmingham City Council.

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Construction & regeneration
03 Jun 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Lamp Works: Demolition Progressing

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A series of rundown buildings are currently being demolished on the site of The Lampworks, in the Jewellery Quarter.

The Cordia Blackswan development will soon be reborn with 129 new homes.

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As you can see, a series of rundown industrial & commercial builds on Great Hampton Street and Barr Street are currently being demolished, with the Cordia Blackswan site set to be reborn in the coming months ahead.

THE LAMPWORKS

129 new homes will be created here, by way of retention and conversion of buildings saved from demolition, and the erection of new four & five-storey new builds - in a mixture of one, two, three beds & duplexes.

A ground floor commercial unit, and an inner courtyard, will also be provided.

Demolition images by Stephen Giles. Renderings are the property of BPN Architects.

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27 May 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

St. James' House To Become A 156-room Aparthotel

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An unloved brutalist office block will be revitalised to deliver a 156-room aparthotel for international hotel brand, Marriot Residence Inn.

St. James' House was approved today at Planning Committee (27th May 2021).

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KENFIN PROPERTY is now free to transform this neglected building to deliver a 156-room aparthotel for international hotel brand, Marriot Residence Inn.

The vacant pre-cast concrete former office building, at 17 Horsefair, has seen frequent past attempts to repurpose it come and go - with noise fears always a significant factor in those previous permissions not being implemented.

However, with comprehensive mitigation plans in place (see below), Kenfin has now received the go-ahead to proceed.

The building - adjoined to O2 Academy Birmingham - will be partially demolished to floors 3-7, before a new lightweight structure is erected and the building extended up to 11 storeys tall.

The new structure will be positioned upon isolated springs to prevent noise travelling, in addition to glazing and facade construction to reduce the impact of any noise.

Clad in metallic finished silver aluminium, with powder coating, large windows, bevelled/angular recesses and projections within the pattern, the building frontage will also feature copper cladding to frame the main facade.

To further appease officers, Kenfin has also agreed to further undertake a noise verification survey before occupation to ensure the mitigation measures are correctly installed.

MARRIOT RESIDENCE INN

Attracting Marriot Residence Inn is something of a coup for the area, not least the building.

The building will facilitate many communal areas, including a bar, gymnasium, lobby, working, dining & lounge areas.

Accommodation will be on floors 3-11, with each room containing a double bed, living area, kitchen and en-suite, with sizes ranging from 24-38sqm.

Given its highly accessible location, zero car parking is provided; however, 4 covered cycle racks will be implemented and accessed via Bow Street.

All images are the property of Cartwright Pickard Architects.

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27 May 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Unloved John Madin Office Block Set For Transformation

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An unloved brutalist office block, designed in 1962 by John Madin, will be repurposed and brought back to life to deliver 266-bed student accommodation and a 123-room hotel.

The site at 12 Calthorpe Road contains two blocks, the tallest reaching 11 storeys.

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MERCIA REAL ESTATE (MRE) is now free to transform the site to deliver 266-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), alongside a 123-room hotel.

The vacant site at 12 Calthorpe Road, designed by the famous architect, John Madin, contains two blocks, the tallest of which reaches 11 storeys. They are both joined vertically by a small link. These will be demolished to allow each to become separate entities.

The roofs on both will also be demolished and a two-storey, 31K SF extension added to make the project viable.

The tallest block will be turned into student digs, comprising en-suites & studios, while the smaller five-storey is to become a 123-room hotel, with provision for a 120 cover restaurant pavilion.

The hotel, alongside the pavilion, will feature a reception, restaurant and bar; while the student element will feature a sky lounge, virtual training room, gym, games area, cinema room, and study spaces.

Cycle parking is to be provided alongside the addition of 73 car parking bays across the site, mainly in the rear car park and the basement underneath the hotel.

However, approval wasn’t plain sailing. Brutiful Birmingham, the lobby group that aims to protect the city’s brutalist heritage, objected to demolition, as did Edgbaston MP Prett Gill, and Calthorpe Residents’ Society.

Concerns, however, were dismissed by officers, and agreed by the committee, as causing “less than substantial harm”.

Student needs also cropped up, despite assessments supporting the need for such accommodation, with MRE suggesting that Calthorpe Road could meet shortfalls in the supply of PBSA.

Birmingham City Council agreed: “A need for the student accommodation has been demonstrated. The proposal would support the function of both the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University (a short walk away from Calthorpe Road) as key providers of employment, culture, and learning in the city,”.

Mercia Real Estate have since mentioned that discussions are on-going with Birmingham City University to take bedspaces.

With a demonstrable demand for student digs, and (perhaps) less so for workspaces, certainly at this moment in time, could this become the norm for our city centres?

All renderings are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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27 May 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVAL FOR REGENERATION OF POST-INDUSTRIAL DIGBETH

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A hybrid application forming a strategic, long-term vision framework for the regeneration of post-industrial Digbeth, has been APPROVED!

Phase 1 of the wider eight-phase regeneration will see 40 new homes, a 'light box' extension to the Custard Factory, and a new office cluster. Exciting!

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4.5M SQFT PLANS; INCLUDING A BIRMINGHAM ‘HIGH LINE’

Digbeth is Birmingham’s creative hub with proud roots in trade, industry, craft and making. Oval Real Estate seeks to conserve this rich heritage, whilst raising the dynamic of the area that will support the city’s diverse communities.

Plans will see 4.15M SQFT developed over eight major phases, offering a genuine opportunity to steer the future development of Digbeth cohesively.

The 15-year plan will involve the redevelopment of 67 plots and the demolition of some 59 buildings, with buildings ranging from one to fourteen storeys tall. If fully realised, the project could be operational by 2035.

The scheme envisages 1.9 million SQFT of offices, up to 1,850 residential units, 230,000 SQFT of new shops, bars, retail, restaurants & takeaways, improved public realm spaces, a nightclub, a 350-bed hotel, a MSCP, 850-bed student accommodation, alongside leisure, education and community facilities.

The city’s 1846-built Duddleston viaduct will also be reanimated into a vibrant New York-esque ‘High Line’ - with all builds setback from the viaduct with a strategically placed pedestrian route alongside its length to the city centre.

IMAGE: View from Gibb Street - Bordesley Viaduct arches.

The River Rea will be uncovered for the first time in decades; two new pedestrian bridges over the Rea & Grand Union Canal will be built, with two others forming a linear sky park atop Duddleston viaduct.

All this will see Digbeth become a permanent daytime economy presiding over thousands of new inhabitants, as well as seeing up to 16,000 new jobs created.

67 PLOTS, 59 BUILDINGS DEMOLISHED, OTHERS BROUGHT BACK INTO USE

Let’s be clear: Large swathes of the site are rundown, with many abandoned buildings and empty plots. These will be demolished, but not all at the same time, as many seem to believe.

Low grade properties will be demolished over the years.

Many, lying either vacant or underutilised, will also be brought back into viable use where appropriate, allowing Digbeth to provide a whole range of suitable improved commercial spaces for a range of businesses, from small scale start-ups to larger companies.

All new builds will then respond to the specific design code of the area. We’ll be posting more on this as the site develops.

PHASE 1

The first phase (in blue) includes ‘Wild Works’, providing 139K SQFT of workspace, 40 new homes at ‘Custard Factory Living’, and a 35K SQFT ‘light box’ upward extension at the Custard Factory.

The Wild Works (Floodgate Street) - Designed by Studio Egret West, Wild Works provides a subtle nod to the areas metalworking past.

The site will be redeveloped to provide four modern commercial blocks in builds ranging from 1 to 8-9 storeys, along with an incubator workspace & a ground-floor restaurant.

Custard Factory Living (Floodgate Street) - Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the site will see the development of a seven-storey residential building providing 40 (1-3 bed) rented apartments—including four affordable units (10%), with ground-floor retail/food and drink uses.

Provision for a replacement pedestrian bridge is included, and this will cross the River Rea to provide an improved link from Floodgate Street past the Custard Factory to Gibb Street.

Custard Factory Extension - This exciting new three-storey light-box addition will add architectural interest to the area.

Designed around the concept of a light-box, the extension will provide two storeys of flexible-use office space & a further top floor for function spaces alongside an outdoor roof garden area.

An extension will also be made at ground floor level, providing additional retail and office floorspace.

Exciting plans afoot!

All images used here are the property of Studio Egret West & Glenn Howells Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
25 May 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

GO-AHEAD RECOMMENDED FOR 14 STOREY RESI BLOCK

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A 14-storey building containing 80 apartments could be constructed in Ladywood, with plans recommended for approval later this week.

Providing a brand new visual marker, in an area set to see transformational change in the future, be sure to follow the post for an in-depth look at Morville Street apartments.

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Located at the junction of Ladywood Middleway and Morville Street – on the former site of Five Ways Health Centre & more recently, a flower shop – the vacant site is earmarked for demolition to make way for this 14 storey tower.

Designed with the stacking of two blocks set at different angles, the red brick building – containing stretcher and recessed stacked bond to add visual articulation – will yield 80 one and two bedroom apartments, in a mix of 33 one & 47 two bedrooms.

9 apartments (11%) has been designated as affordable and these will be available at 75% of market value.

Morville Street Developments Ltd – a team led by Mark Holbeche of Regal Property Group, and William Houle, of Trigram Properties – are behind the redevelopment, with Glancy Nicholls Architects designing the scheme.

Well considered in its design, scale, material and design quality, the building enhances its local distinctiveness & follows the alignment of its boundaries and street frontages; before cleverly stepping back to an orthogonal form on the eighth floor, as it faces the adjacent Lincoln Tower.

It’ll feature a double floor base with four sets of three floors grouped through the elevation and topped with an open crown around an open-air roof garden space.

All windows will be metal framed and topped off with a natural copper finish.

AMENITIES

A private walled garden (160sqm) and work-from-home space (50sqm) will be provided at ground floor level. On the upper floors, a private roof-top garden with green roof & bio-solar roof panels (241sqm) will become the crowning feature of the development.

Predominately a car-free affair, Morville Street will see the inclusion of 30 internal and 50 external cycle spaces – the former at ground floor level & the latter within the new courtyard.

THE SITE TODAY

EXISTING SITE VIEW: Google Street View (August 2020)

Recommendation: Morville Street apartments has been recommended for approval subject to a Section 106 legal agreement to secure 9 affordable (one and two bedroom) apartments. The development goes to Planning committee on the 27th of May 2021, at 11 am. 

All renderings are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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20 May 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Major Inner City Academy Set For Approval

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Plans for a new Inner City Football Academy for Aston Villa Football Club has been recommended for approval on the 27th of May.

Follow the link for more on this exciting development for Aston Villa and for the city!

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The state-of-the-art academy, on Witton Road, will provide access for the local community through the Aston Villa Foundation and in partnership with local junior football clubs.

While Aston Villa operates a training base for senior players at Bodymoor Heath, north of Sutton Coldfield, the club is now bringing forward these exciting new plans that will enable the club to grow its youth training programme within the city - just 500 yards from Villa Park.

Indoor & outdoor 3G pitches – both floodlit – will be included alongside a claret cladded new build that will facilitate lounges for parents, changing facilities, and office space.

The academy, which will provide opportunities for age 4 upwards, is expected to see up to 100 players and 20 staff use the facilities.

Three access points, three new car parks containing 445 vehicular spaces (inc. 5 disabled) & 16 cycles, are to be delivered.

Plans have been brought forward in collaboration with Aston Villa Football Club, 1874 Developments, and Aston Villa Foundation. Plans have been designed by HB Architects & Indigo Landscape, with consultancy from Claremont Planning. Images are the property of HB Architects.

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Construction & regeneration
17 May 2021 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Hyatt, Birmingham - Great architecture

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The Hyatt Regency is a modernist 4-star hotel on Broad Street in the city centre of Birmingham, England.

Standing at 75 metres (246 feet), the 24 storey hotel - which has a total of 319 luxury bedrooms and suites - opened for business in the summer of 1990.

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With its striking blue reflective glass and private bridge linking the hotel to the ICC (International Convention Centre), and Symphony Hall, Hyatt hasn’t aged a day.

It was specifically constructed to garner ties with the ICC. And it was this secure link that helped Birmingham host the 24th world G8 Summit in 1998, and the NATO Meeting of Defence Ministers, in 2000.

Over the years, the hotel has, in addition to welcoming Prime Ministers and Presidents, also played host to A-list film, pop stars, war heroes & countless sports teams.

Today, Hyatt offers a cosmopolitan restaurant within its stylish atrium lobby, alongside a Pravda bar offering an extensive drinks menu. The upper three floors feature the ‘Regency Club’ - 12 elegant suites for the discerning traveller.

In 2016, the hotel was bought by a Middle East Investment group (an affiliate of Sharjah-based Bin Otaiba) for £38.6 million.

CONSTRUCTION

The building was built by Convention Centre Partnership (Percy Thomas Partnership and Renton Howard Wood Levin) and was constructed along with the ICC between 1987 and 1991.

Images from fruit&nut/Skyscrapercity.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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