Birmingham is a city experiencing huge change. In the City's Westside, we are calling it the 'Broad Street Cluster' with some massive skyscrapers either planned or already under construction.

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100 Broad Street - a new 61 storey addition planned for the Broad Street cluster





Birmingham is a city experiencing huge change. In the City's Westside, we are calling it the 'Broad Street Cluster' with some massive skyscrapers either planned or already under construction.


A new 61-storey skyscraper is the next big building on the horizon for Broad Street after plans were revealed recently.

100 Broad Street, brought forward by Yardley-based, Euro Property Investments, will comprise 503 one-and two-bedroom apartments, with a 60th floor Sky Lounge, amenities and commercial units.

Located at the junction of Broad Street and Ryland Street, Centennial House, a disused office building owned by the applicant, will need to be demolished.

Rising to a mammoth 193 metres (633 feet), it's been designed by Jewellery Quarter-based practice, Glancy Nicholls Architects.

Birmingham City Council Planning Officers have intimated that a significant landmark building will be supported on site, subject to design, as the site lies within a location designated for taller ambitions.

No parking provision will be allocated, given that the Midland Metro Tram will service the area in 2021. Secure storage for 250 bikes will be made available instead.

While the design has been inspired by other talls, this proposal is unique for Birmingham - and crucially, it seems the numbers add up!

It's the tallest proposal the city has ever seen, and one which should set a precedent and inspire a new generation of tall buildings and architecture within the city centre.

As pointed out above, the Metro Tram will service the area, an extension that is already paying dividends to the regeneration, not only on Broad Street, but throughout the city, with its cleaner air and vastly improved accessibility.

It supports population and economic growth by linking jobs and people.

It also has the opportunity to perhaps kickstart the first phase of Ladywood's wider redevelopment plan due in the next few years.

With other developments coming forward, all linked via a tram route, the city should become an even more exciting place to live.

THE BUILDING

The building comprises an initial 55 storeys of apartments, with the rest earmarked for amenity, dining & commercial units.

The building will no doubt provide an attractive proposition for those wanting to live in the city.

Indeed, demand for city-centre housing is soaring; roared on by young professionals, and those who fancy a change of lifestyle.

The mix of units will see 224 one and 279 two-bedrooms, with all units available for sale on the open market, with accommodation sizes varying from 55.6 sqm to 80.8 sqm.

THE PAVILION

A two-storey (11m) pavilion will be incorporated into the rear of the site.

With a green roof proposed, it's been designed in a way to respond sympathetically to the nearby housing stock of Ryland Street.

A plethora of amenity offerings will be on offer here, including a gym, work space areas, games room, cinema, and a residents’ lounge with roof terrace – the latter will be accessed through a glazed link bridge.

A designated cycle storage area will be located here and will span both levels.

The materials will, like the tower, be made with an unitised facade system, mixing transparent and opaque panels.

ACTIVE FRONTAGES

The ground floor will boast a triple height lobby that'll be occupied by two commercial units (5,500 sqft) with mezzanine levels. Their entrances will be wholly independent to the residential aspect (see below).

Crucial really, as not only will they complement similar other uses along Broad Street, but they will also offer active frontages that will see the building blend into its surroundings, and enhance the vibrant street furthermore.

'THE CROWN'

Located on the 58th-60th floors lies the jewel in the crown (no pun intended) - the 'Sky Lounge'.

It'll be a publicly accessible bar and restaurant space, with the architect already promoting it as the largest highest-altitude dining experience anywhere in the country.

Gas masks at the ready!

It’ll be accessible from the ground floor lift, right up to the 58th entrance lobby, with the 59th floor offering a full-height bar & the 60th providing space for public and private dining.

EXTERNAL LIGHTING

Birmingham City Council's 'High Places SPD (2003)' requires that tall buildings should be lit by well-designed lighting schemes, and should add to the skyline of the city.

Given that the main pedestrian footpath leads onto a main arterial route, the path will be naturally be illuminated via street lighting, with the added hues of nearby entertainment venues.

The main entrance will be uplit with LED luminaires.

No building mounted feature lighting is currently proposed, but this is subject to change.

Due to the height, an aviation warning lights strategy will also need to be developed in conjunction with Birmingham Airport - a consultee in pre-planning talks.

All external lighting will be dimmable and controllable via photocell and time scheduling.

At the very top, the crown will be illuminated to a low level of ambient lighting which will emit through the open sides.

FACADE

The facade has been inspired by existing builds within the city and others further afield. Each facet of the design has taken a subtle nod from each.

A unitised facade system with titanium frames will take pride of place here, mixing transparent and opaque frosted glass panels. It'll ooze simpleness.

No openable windows are forecast, so the architects have once again incorporated a slot ventilation system into their proposal.

The system allows fresh air in, and fresh air to go out. It will be incorporated into the spandrel panels on the glazing, which have been meticulously designed to minimise the impact on the facade.

Historically, the site was once a well-known brass-works, so the architects will emphasise this with a slim linear articulation design that references the filigree patterns often found in brass-working. 

LANDSCAPING

The site lies immediately adjacent to the proposed ‘Five Ways’ Midland Metro tram
stop - seen below.

Many new trees will be planted and a high-quality public realm implemented, which will, once complete, respond positively to the stop, whilst integrating the scheme into its surroundings.

Eight or so new trees are proposed along the front of the building along Broad Street, with further trees within the external seating area, and off Ryland Street.

EVOLUTION OF THE SCHEME

Through pre-planning discussions, 100 Broad Street has evolved from three buildings, with a pinnacle 40 storey tower, to a 61-storey landmark skyscraper.

The massing of the tower now responds to the relationship between the existing buildings along Broad Street.

It's more simple in form, has more of an impact, with both masses sliding against each other, thus giving the development a more slender appearance - as seen below.

You'll notice that the positioning of the tower has also been delicately positioned. This is to give some enclosure to the adjacent houses on Ryland Street, whilst giving Broad Street an exclusive frontage.

DEMOLITION

All glitzy stuff, but before any of this can materialise, Charter & Centennial House, 34,000 sqft of disused office space, owned by the applicant, will need to be demolished.

All buildings and structures falling within the site have been credited as having no significant heritage value.

Images from Euro Property Investments

SO, WHO ARE EURO PROPERTY INVESTMENTS?

Euro Property Investments Ltd (Epil) operate an extensive property portfolio, with a wide range of glamorous projects undertaken within the UAE and beyond.

On U.K. shores, they've extensive experience in re-purposing and redeveloping sites in urban areas. Within Brum, the company are currently renovating Louisa Ryland House, on Newhall Street, for WeWork.

They are armed to the teeth with affluent Middle Eastern investors, but how this will translate back to the U.K. market and into the regions is anyone's guess.

Given Birmingham's unprecedented investment and construction records, will EPIL's investors make that seamless transition into the U.K. market? Only time will tell.

WHAT NEXT?

The building will go to planning committee soon, possibly towards the end of 2019, with demolition commencing in 2020, before construction in 2021, with a 2024 completion.

Given the exhaustive pre-planning process, this should fly through with approval.

The development will also be subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) sum of over £3.7 million that will be put towards improving key infrastructure within the city.

For the time being, we'll have to play the waiting game.

All images in this article belong to Glancy Nicholls Architects

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