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Architect needed for £18m Birmingham Museum overhaul

Birmingham museum and art gallery from the central library image by jimmyguano
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Birmingham Museums Trust is looking for an architect for an £18 million revamp of the city’s Grade II* museum and art gallery

The winning architect-led multidisciplinary design team will reconfigure and upgrade the landmark venue, which occupies the west end of the iconic Council House (pictured) in Chamberlain Square.

The project will improve exhibition spaces and wayfinding inside the gallery which is next door to John Madin’s former Birmingham Central Library. The Brutalist library was controversially demolished last year to make way for a new 7ha mixed-use district, dubbed ‘Paradise’.

According to the brief: ‘The project will reinvigorate an architecturally distinguished building that is one of the few remaining parts of the historic cityscape, and an important monument to the high-water mark of Birmingham’s ambition, municipal gospel and pride. The redevelopment of Paradise Forum will make it more visible than it has been for some 50 years.

‘The bridge and Edmund Street are the focal point of the view through the new development, and the public realm here will mark the end of a cultural route leading from Symphony Hall past the Rep and the Library of Birmingham to a reimagined Museum and Art Gallery. It will redisplay one of the most distinguished civic collections in Europe for new audiences in the UK’s most diverse and youngest city.’

The Victorian Baroque complex was designed by Yeoville Thomason in 1885 and extended in 1017 by Ashley & Newman in the Edwardian Renaissance style. The museum and art gallery hosts more than 500,000 objects and receives close to one million visitors every year.

The project, planned to complete in 2022, will restore the building, enlarge display areas, improve collections care, upgrade disabled access and deliver a new prayer room, toilets, public realm and meeting rooms. Additional commercial spaces for retail and catering will also be created alongside new learning facilities and research areas.

A new 3,500m² ‘back of house’ facility will also be created in a yet-to-be-chosen site within 25km of the gallery. The proposed annex will house museum stores, offices and conservation facilities currently occupying the ground and first floors of the Council House extension.

Up to five teams will be shortlisted for the £2.6 million design contract. The deadline for applications is noon, 27 January.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

John Cooke
Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
B3 3DH

Tel: +44 1213488321
Email: john.cooke@birminghammuseums.org.uk



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