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Birmingham regeneration competition launched

Birmingham City Council, together with property developer ISIS, has launched a huge invited competition to design a masterplan for the regeneration of a swathe of the city.

Among the 45 firms invited to draw up plans for the Warwick Bar area are some of the biggest and most interesting urban design and architecture offices in Europe. These include West 8, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Foreign Office Architects, Bill Dunster and FAT.

The list also includes the two best-known practices in the West Midlands - Associated Architects and Glen Howells Architects.

Warwick Bar is an area of 1.9ha within Birmingham's Eastside regeneration zone and is where the Birmingham-to-London Grand Union Canal meets the Digbeth Branch Canal.

The invited practices will be asked to respond to the brief, which calls for the 'creation of a flagship project within the national development portfolio of site owner ISIS'.

Councillor Ken Hardeman, Birmingham City Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said the masterplanning work is essential for the city.

'Warwick Bar is a key location that will provide economic stability, diversity and vitality. It has the potential to become a distinctive and sophisticated creative quarter, linking to the existing regeneration of Eastside,' he said.

'The people of Birmingham will benefit from the development of a vibrant, environmentally sustainable, mixed-use neighbourhood alongside the canal,' Hardeman added.

by Ed Dorrell

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