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K4 Architects reveals 30-storey Birmingham tower

[First look] Emerging outfit K4 Architects has unveiled these plans for a £50 million, 30-storey student accommodation-led scheme above Birmingham’s former central fire station

The skyscraper, has been ‘sensitively integrated within the footprint’ of the Grade II-listed fire station which has been largely vacant since its decomissioning in 2006.

Under the proposals which have just been submitted for planning, the existing building will be overhauled as part of the development which will create accommodation for 823 students as well as 1,600m² of mixed commercial floor space. The former firemen’s drill yard will be converted into a new publicly accessible courtyard. 

The Birmingham-based practice, which set up late last year, was chosen by project backer Watkin Jones following a design competiton

Watkin Jones’ Jason Berry, who led the judging panel, said: ‘With their dedication to delivering exciting places by combining creativity with commonsense and commercial reality, the K4 team was the clear winner. Their passion for the city and intimate understanding of the building shone through.’

Bob Ghosh , co-founder of K4 Architects, added: ‘We’re immensely proud of this commission and have felt a great sense of both pride and responsibility in designing a structure of such importance to the city’s skyline.

‘We believe that our design will create a dramatic introduction to the city, in addition to bringing a new vibrancy to the area, sustaining the long-term future of this fine listed building.’

As part of its investment, Watkin Jones is in discussion with Birmingham City Council about providing further public realm improvements outside of the fire station along Corporation Street, including the upgrade of a nearby pedestrian crossing.

Funding for the project is already committed, and subject to planning permission, Watkin Jones intend to commence works to the existing building before the end of this year (2011). 

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