Located in the centre of Birmingham a few minutes away from New Street Station, this Grade II seven-storey listed building had previously been used for offices and a bank hall on the lower floors. However, this Art Deco style building had been unoccupied for a few years when we were appointed by the client.
The client wanted to convert the building into apartments whilst keeping a good standard of architecture. 32 apartments were delivered in total, a combination of one and two beds, in addition to a café/restaurant area on the ground floor and basement.
One of our main priorities was to keep the character of the building and enhance its particular architecture. For this reason, all the communal areas were designed to remain in its original Art Deco style, the finishes were retained where possible, and for all the other elements that had to be constructed, we paid special attention to making them sympathetic with the existing.
For the apartments,on the other hand, we followed the opposite approach. We designed these to be more contemporary and tried to achieve all the comforts for the future users of the building. Our intention was for the building to have a unique feel for its future users, so each of the apartments was designed as an individual space. The building was thermally and acoustically upgraded to make it more sustainable.
When refurbishing an existing building, it is not always straight forward to upgrade them to comply with all the current regulations. In addition to this, the shape of the building made the design process very challenging, as we had to adapt the footprint of the building from commercial to residential use, which is not what the building had originally been designed for. But in this case, we worked very closely with the client towards the same goal and produced a scheme that has brought new life to a building that had not been used for years.