Update on Birmingham Building Projects

New Street Station Starts to Show Its Bright Side

….or is it its flash audacious side!?

After a wait of several months the developers have finally fixed some stainless steel panels to the Navigation Street side of the station and we can perhaps imagine what the total outside view to the world will be.

Reflection of No 3 Snow Hill A rectangular array of glass provides an interesting spectacle for passers-by as the glass front of the Hyatt in Broad Street does. A similar effect has been created by glass at Snow Hill (left).


However, this glass is floated flat in manufacture and only slight distortion occurs when applied to a structure.

Browns Restaurant at the BullringThin stainless steel panels seem to distort badly due to stresses created in fixing them. This can be seen with  the recently added Bullring restaurant complex (left) in the square outside St Martins church, which in my view looks cheap.

Like all such cladding I have seen, stainless steel panels reflect surrounding buildings and not being perfectly flat distort the reflection.

As most of the new station is covered in stainless steel panels will it be overpowering and look a total mess?
Will it also look brash and lacking in taste? Will it suggest a hall of mirrors which people visit to be amused by the grotesque shapes produced?

Personally I’m not keen on this external construction (as you might have gathered, by now!) as it can look cheap and nasty. I know it’s too late to change now, but will it produce the image to the arriving world hoped for by the planners and will it really be a Gateway to a world class city? The gallery below shows how New Street Station looks currently in Navigation Street.

Beneficial Building Benefits from £16m Refurbishment

Beneficial Building now - an eyesore

Beneficial Building now – an eyesore

A blot on the Paradise Circus scene for several years the building previously occupied by HSBC is to be transformed to its former glory.

The building is on the corner of Paradise Street and Suffolk Street and was was built in the sixties, a period of poor architecture generally, but was well regarded at the time. Since then the outside has been covered with metal cladding which did not weather well and started to fall off some years ago. It has been covered in scaffolding to prevent further disintegration and is an eyesore to visitors to the Town Hall. The restoration is also timely as it faces Paradise Circus which is to be redeveloped.

Beneficial Building of the future - artists impression

Beneficial Building of the future – artists impression

It will become mixed use comprising a 137 bedroom hotel, 53 serviced apartments and a  café/restaurants and creating 100 new jobs.

Work should start in the spring.