Birmingham City Council have approved planning permission for the refurbishment of a prominent mixed-use building in Birmingham city centre. The existing building (currently named Albany House) is a 10 storey tower in the Southside area of Birmingham, just minutes from Birmingham New Street.
The building underwent extensive external re-cladding in 2014 and the proposed alterations complete the refurbishment of the building with improvements to the ground and first floor facade, and complete refurbishment of the office space and communal spaces.
Whitman Wilde Architects were approached with the brief of re-positioning the building, which has been under occupied for a number of years. With a tight budget, the architects worked closely with client through a number of feasibility studies, to identify areas where the budget could be best spent to achieve maximum impact.
The works will include the refurbishment of approximately 20.000sqft of office space, improvements to the public areas including a new reception and cafe at ground floor, and improved amenities in the building. The newly branded ‘Southside Building’ will b e completed later this year, ad will provide a mix of small offices for start-up businesses, and shared workspaces for Birmingham’s creative industries.
Externally, the proposed design includes trimming back an existing over-sailing canopy, to increase the height of the shop fronts, and development of a standardised design template for the retail units which will improve the appearance of the street frontage. The materials have been selected to responds to the urban context and heritage of the area, providing a robust facade with an industrial material palette. The finished building will act as a keystone building for the proposed Southside Square and regeneration of the surrounding area