Brindleyplace, Birmingham

Work, live, enjoy… Strength in diversity

‘Mixed-use’ zones are nothing new: as far back as Roman times, certain areas in cities naturally evolved to combine working, living and leisure space.

But for developers in modern times it was long seen as a risky concept. Better to keep dangerous factories separate. Better to build a parade of shops all together on the high street or, more recently, out-of-town where there is plenty of parking space…

So when work started on a 17 acre long-derelict canalside site in central Birmingham, back in 1993, eyebrows were raised.
 Two decades on, Brindleyplace is one of the most vibrant, dynamic areas in the city. 8,500 people work there and it attracts around four million visitors a year.

In total, BAM built seven of the eleven main buildings in the development: working in a close partnership with the owner and developer Argent PLC.

Project details

  • Customer: Argent Group PLC 

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10 Fact icon years of partnership with the developers, Argent LLP
ISO 14001 Fact icon certification covers the entire Brindleyplace development
7 Fact icon buildings delivered by BAM
17 Fact icon acres the UK’s largest mixed-use development

Building in flexibility

Perhaps the biggest challenge was the building that’s now home to the Royal Bank of Scotland: conceived to bring together one existing building and two unbuilt ones.

The development team had to adapt designs to provide level floors across the three spaces, linking three independent structures to provide access and fire escapes for the combined whole.

At the same time, there’s built in flexibility to turn it back into three separate blocks in the future, if needed.

Local character

Each building BAM delivered has its own personality.

Number 3 could be in a Venetian piazza, with its Italianate columns. The most recent – and largest – number 11 is unashamedly modernist with its strongly curved, fully glazed almost black façade. Nine Brindleyplace echoes the Victorian Church next door…

Over more than a decade, BAM has worked with Argent created a successful and highly popular hub for the city: where people really can live, work, shop, eat and relax all in one place.