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Construction & regeneration
5 hours ago - 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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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. 


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.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 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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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.


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.
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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30 passion points
Modern Architecture
17 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing The Wesleyan, Birmingham, UK

The Wesleyan was built between 1988 to 1991 for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society on the site of the Gaumont Cinema.

It is located at Colmore Square, Birmingham. B4 6AR.

Take our post for a bit of history and a bit of photography.  Enjoy!

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Introducing The Wesleyan, Birmingham, UK





The Wesleyan was built between 1988 to 1991 for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society on the site of the Gaumont Cinema.

It is located at Colmore Square, Birmingham. B4 6AR.

Take our post for a bit of history and a bit of photography.  Enjoy!


Founded in 1841, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, The Wesleyan this year celebrated its 179th anniversary back in April.

Their current building, completed in 1991 and opened by HRH the Duke of Kent KG on their 150th anniversary, offers a bright and modern open-plan working environment, plus an on-site restaurant.

It lies within easy reach of the West Midlands Tram & Snow Hill, Moor Street and New Street train stations.

The Wesleyan, located at Colmore Circus near Steelhouse Lane, was built on the site of the Gaumont Cinema. 

Photo courtesy Kinospoter and Cinema Treasures. 

According to Cinema Treasures, the cinema opened in 1931 and was built in the Art Deco style. In 1961, the cinema was closed and in1963 opened up as a Cinerama Theatre. This then closed in 1973 for repairs and redecoration and closed for the final time in 1983. The building was demolished in 1986.

The facade of the building was dismantled brick by brick and was put into storage.  The original intention was to re-use the brickwork on the same site.

Construction of The Wesleyan began in 1988 and continued until about 1991. The Wesleyan was built for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society by Peter Hing & Jones.

Built of pink granite, it has a central core with an upside down pyramid roof. 

The subways around Colmore Circus would remained into the late 1990s but have since been filled in.  The area was raised to road level in the 2000s and became Colmore Square, which is located between the bottom end of Colmore Row and Steelhouse Lane at Colmore Circus Queensway.

Here is a selection of photography of The Wesleyan taken over the years.

January 2010

Photos courtesty of Elliott Brown

The Wesleyan on the 26th July 2014

Photos courtesy Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley

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90 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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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.


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.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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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.

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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.


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.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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