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Kuhne unveils 50-storey tower for Birmingham - images

Eric Kuhne's striking 50-storey V building, proposed for Arena Central, Birmingham, has made its international debut at MIPIM.

Rising 150m, the £150 million mixed-use scheme, known formally as Arena Central tower, will include 600 apartments and a rooftop 'sky bar' and observatory.

The V Building, set to go into planning in April, will form the centrepiece of Arena Central, which has outline planning for 200,000m2 of mixed-use development. It will stand alongside other notable central Birmingham architecture, including The Mailbox, Brindleyplace and the ICC.

Resembling an elongated V, the structure will culminate in a scissor-like roof that will 'slice the sky and frame the sky bar and observatory' says Texan-born Kuhne.

Kuhne, whose current commissions include creating a version of President Bush's Camp David country retreat for Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, hopes his project will give Birmingham the same recognition the Sears Building gave Chicago.

He added: 'I've always wanted to design a tower that has equal proportions of elegance and masculinity, and appears to change shape when viewed from different angles, both near and afar.

'However, if the V building was in Chicago or New York, it would be just another tower to be appreciated up close, crowded by the many other skyscrapers when viewed as part of the skyline.

'Birmingham has too much heritage to become a city dominated by towers, but the local authority has recognised how important symbolic tall structures are to the international reputation of major cities,' he said.

Work on the V building could start on site later this year with the build programme expected to take three years.

To read what Astragal has been getting up to at MIPIM visit: www.ajplus.co.uk/astragal and to see Reid Architecture's MIPIM blog go to: www.ajplus.co.uk/mipimblog

by Clive Walker

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