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Glenn Howells reveals 49-storey octagonal tower for Birmingham

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Glenn Howells Architects has revealed images of a 155m-tall residential tower designed for the huge Paradise Birmingham development

The locally-headquartered practice published proposals for the 49-storey Octagon building on Summer Row – billed as the ’world’s tallest octagonal tower’ – as public consultation got under way this week (5 May).

If approved, the 346-home build-to-rent tower would be the first housing to be erected within the £700 million development, which is led by Argent and Hermes.

It would be taller than Birmingham’s current highest point, the 152m BT Tower, although both will soon be dwarfed by Glancy Nicholls Architects’ approved 61-storey skyscraper at 100 Broad Street.

The AJ reported in December 2018 that construction of certain buildings within the Paradise Birmingham masterplan were in the balance after developers overspent on phase one and needed to find almost £50 million to unlock phase two.

After that impasse was overcome, work has started on Glenn Howells’ office-led One Centenary Square, with the practice’s newly-revealed Octagon building expected to be the next submitted for planning as the developers react to a perceived opportunity in the residential market.

Octagon, which will replace the 77 Paradise Circus Queensway office block, is expected to feature a number of homes for affordable rent and a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units.

Consultation will take place online before a planning application is submitted to Birmingham City Council in the summer. Work could start on site next year and be completed by 2024.

Glenn Howells partner Dav Bansal said the distinctive octagonal shape of the tower would create a ‘landmark’ for Birmingham.

‘It will be a distinct and instantly recognisable design offering homes of unparalleled individuality, with every apartment enjoying a generous 13m facet of the Octagon,’ he said.

‘The horizontal expression of the façade enables the internal rooms to open up to panoramic views of the city and residents will also enjoy access to a wellness centre, workout studios and private lounges.’

Argent regional director Rob Groves said the developer wanted Octagon to be ‘one of the finest apartment schemes ever seen in the UK’. 

‘We want this building to really stand out, which is why we have been working so hard behind the scenes with Glenn Howells Architects to come up with a very pure design that will create a true landmark, capable of holding its own on the Birmingham skyline both now and in the future,’ he added.

‘It is also about creating a real experience for everyone who lives at Octagon. The unique shape of the building means the homes will be spacious and, due to its landscape windows, height and position on the Birmingham ridge, every single home at Octagon will have spectacular views across the city.’

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward said the consultation showed Birmingham was open for business.

‘The council is still facilitating the planning process by allowing developers to talk with officers online and I would encourage everyone to use the Octagon website to look at the information around this project and give their feedback,’ he said.

‘Paradise itself is an important landmark development for the city and the incorporation of a residential element will help bring this mixed-use scheme even further to life.’

 

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