Moving Forward from the Outline Design
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How do you create a design which satisfies certain practical considerations but is inspiring to see and use and will retain theses essential qualities for decades to come?
Well, the way adopted by Argent, who are managing the design of the development, aided by Architects’ Journal, was to hold a design Charrette. This is a french word for cart and derives from the practice in the 19th century, at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, of student architects working furiously on designs up to a deadline and a cart was sent round to collect their final drawings; students would jump onto the charrette to add finishing touches.
Three New Squares
Late in 2013 a modern-day charrette was held to produce visions for three new squares. Six teams of architects, landscape architects and artists visited the site, and the city centre and then in a frenzied day produced ideas for the look and feel of the squares. An evaluation of ideas followed which fed into a brief for prospective architects for their production of final plans.
Four architectural practices, Gillespies, Grant Associates, Gustafson Porter and GROSS.MAX then produced designs inspired by the charrette output.
In February the contract for the final design was awarded to Grant Associates. This is for the design of all the public spaces throughout the Paradise Circus site. The artist’s impression (left) of Chamberlain Square is by Grant Associates.
Phase 1 Buildings
Also, announced in March, was news of an upcoming Architects Competition for the design of one of the buildings on phase 1 of the construction.
The competition will involve four architectural practices submitting designs for the first building on plot D. The development’s master-planners, Glenn Howells Architects, has already been appointed for the design of the building in plot E. These buildings are pivotal in that they overlook Chamberlain Square.
The shortlisted firms are: Associated Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), Eric Parry and Piercy & Co.
Four years after the first public consultation, work on the site is due to start very soon.
Contractors are currently being procured for the enabling works on the site, due to start in the Autumn and for the infrastructure construction scheduled for an early 2015 start.
Enabling involves such operations as:
- Redirection of pedestrian routes
- Demolition of existing buildings
- Site clearance.
- Disconnection and Diversion of existing site services.
- Geotechnical investigations to determine the properties of the ground
- Creation of access routes.
- Perimeter fencing and signage
- Site security
Below is a computer generated flythrough, reproduced here by courtesy of Paradise Circus Limited Partnership, which illustrates how this extremely important development will fit into Birmingham city centre and how the construction will progress.
For background information refer to the article:
published on 9 February this year on this website.
The above is just an overview, for more information visit the development’s own website at www.paradisecircus.co.uk .
Article by: Geoff Caine