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Grant Associates scoops Paradise Circus landscaping job

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Grant Associates has been revealed as the winner of Argent’s Paradise Circus landscape contest in Birmingham

The Bath-based practice saw off competition from Gillespies, Gustafson Porter and GROSS.MAX to bag the job which will include a series of new streets and public squares around the area’s historic listed buildings.

The 68,800m² project forms part of the wider £450 million Glenn Howells Architects-designed masterplan for the city centre which was approved last year.

The masterplan covers a tract of land between the city centre’s Centenary and Chamberlain Squares and spells the end for John Madin’s brutalist Birmingham Central Library.

Grant Associates director Peter Chmiel, said: ‘We are thrilled and delighted to be appointed as landscape architects for Paradise Circus. This is a high profile project right in the heart of Birmingham and the public realm is a vital part of it. Grant Associates look forward to working with the team and will ensure that the public space creates the best possible setting for this development and its wider environment.’

Argent’s managing partner David Partridge said: ‘All the entries were of the highest quality and clearly followed the brief to create a world class public realm that would complement the listed historical and contemporary new buildings.’

As the winner was announced, Argent also revealed the shortlist of architects invited to submit designs for one of the first buildings in the masterplan.

Previous story (AJ 24.2.14)

Four shortlisted in Paradise Circus landscape contest

Gillespies, Grant Associates, Gustafson Porter and GROSS.MAX have been shortlisted to landscape Birmingham’s Paradise Circus

The public space project forms part of the wider £450 million Glenn Howells Architects-designed masterplan for the city centre which was approved last year.

The shortlist

  • Gillespies
  • Grant Associates
  • Gustafson Porter

The four finalists have produced designs which will bring the new mixed-use development and the site’s historic buildings together in an ‘attractive, practical and sympathetic way’.

The 170,000m² masterplan covers land between Centenery Square and Chamberlain Square and spells the end for John Madin’s brutalist Birmingham Central Library.

The landscaping will include a series of new streets and public squares around the area’s listed historic buildings.

Last year the AJ ran a charrette, where six teams of architects were asked to produce ideas for how the new development might look.

Argent managing partner David Partridge, said: ‘Having spent many years working on the plans and proposals for Paradise Circus, it is particularly gratifying to be so close to seeing the actual start of work on site.

‘With the collection of world class listed buildings surrounding the site and its location in the Civic Heart of the city centre, we simply have to get the public spaces right. The selection of a landscape architect is a very important step as we have always held the strong belief that the public realm is an absolutely vital part of any successful development.’

The winning landscape architect will be announced on 13 March at MIPIM.

Previous story (AJ 28.07.12)

Glenn Howells submits plans for £450 million makeover of Paradise Circus

Glenn Howells Architects has lodged a planning application for its £450 million makeover of Birmingham’s Paradise Circus

Submitted by developers Argent, the large-scale, city centre redevelopment will cover 6.8ha of land between Centenery Square and Chamberlain Square and will spell the end for John Madin’s Birmingham Central Library.

Howells has spent several years on the designs for the mixed-use site which involve the demolition of  the brutalist landmark and include a new home for the Birmingham Conservatoire. The new-look site will combine office space, retail, leisure, and civil and cultural amenities.

Glenn Howells said: ‘We have produced a masterplan that successfully combines a contemporary and sustainable approach to design, alongside the need to work sympathetically with the magnificent, historic civic buildings that lie adjacent to the site.’

The creation of linked pedestrian walkways and squares, traffic free settings and opened up views aims to revitalise an area of the city which is widely regarded as tired and unwelcoming.

‘This proposal puts people and the environment first by providing traffic-free roads and squares along with attractive vistas’ he said.


Improvements to the infrastructure in and around the site are also planned – connecting Paradise Circus with its surrounding districts and earlier redevelopment sites such as Brindley Place.

Rob Groves, senior project director at Argent, said the proposals have been well received. ‘This is a nationally important site and we are very excited about the opportunity to create a sustainable, first class environment that should transform a key part of Birmingham City Centre.’

If planning permission is granted, a detailed planning application for the first phase of work will be drawn up for submission later next year.

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