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End for Birmingham Central Library: Paradise Circus plans revealed

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Glenn Howells Architects has revealed its latest vision for a replacement of John Madin’s soon-to-be-demolished Brutalist 1974 central library in Birmingham.

The Paradise Circus scheme includes new streets, squares, 160,000m2 of commercial space housed in 12 new buildings, as well as a new 450-seat home for the Birmingham Conservatoire, whose Adrian Boult Hall will also be relocated as part of the 15-year plan.

Council leader Mike Whitby said: ‘This is one of the most strategically and historically important sites, not just for Birmingham, but for the UK.’

‘Plans for Paradise Circus are at the forefront of Birmingham’s new enterprise zone and our Big City Plan. They have the capacity to create a high-quality commercial, retail and leisure development that will encourage visitors, open up other parts of our city and return our historic buildings to a more suitable setting.’

The development team, headed by Argent in collaboration with Altitude Real Estate, hopes to submit an outline planning application this summer after a series of consultation events, the second phase of which was held last week.

Comment:

Kevin Singh, head of school at Birmingham School of Architecture:
‘The proposals for the redevelopment of Paradise Circus are most welcome, and are absolutely necessary as the area has always deterred the natural expansion of the city centre - in conjunction with the inner ring road.
‘Using the nearby Brindleyplace as a benchmark, the initial proposals begin to address issues such as the setting for Birmingham’s civic centre, the notorious road layout, and connectivity to the much acclaimed Jewellery Quarter. The current proposals are deliberately vague in terms of the architecture so one just hopes that the City will continue to learn from its mistakes of the past and commission quality, place-making architecture.’

 

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