Brindleyplace is a large
mixed-use canalside development, in the centre
of Birmingham, England ( ).
Three Brindleyplace from Main Square
(tower not visible)
It is often written erroneously as Brindley Place
the name of the street (in turn named after the 18th century canal
engineer James Brindley
) around which
it is built. It was developed by Argent
from 1993 onwards.In addition to shops, bars and restaurants,
Brindleyplace is home to the National Sea
Life Centre, Royal Bank of
Scotland, BRMB, and the Ikon Gallery of art.
The site covers 17 acres
(69,000 m²) of mixed-use redevelopment on a grand scale - the
UK's largest such project. The Birmingham Canal
Navigations Main Line Canal separates Brindleyplace from the
International Convention Centre, although there are linking bridges.
Arena, Old Turn Junction and bustling bars of Broad
Street are nearby and it is easily accessible and within
walking distance of the main bus and train routes.
The area occupied by Brindleyplace was, at the height of
Birmingham's industrial past, the site of factories, however, by
the 1970s as Britain's manufacturing went into decline, the
factories closed down and the buildings lay derelict for many
Birmingham City Council
aim was to create an environment of water features, walkways and
new office and leisure buildings, that would open out onto the
adjacent canal. The scheme was assembled by the council in the
council were also seeing success with the construction of the
International Convention Centre with the Symphony Hall, and the National Indoor Arena.
A development brief was drawn up,
identifying the site as an area to attract people to compliment the
Initial proposals were drawn up by Merlin, who teamed with
developers Shearwater. However, Merlin pulled out of the scheme and
were replaced by Rosehaugh
. Rosehaugh had
paid £26 million for the site in 1990. Rosehaugh revised Merlin's
retail-led scheme to include more office space and a residential
element. By 1992, a detailed set of proposals which included
retailing and restaurants with a central square had been agreed.
However, Rosehaugh went into receivership
by the end of the
year. Argent took over the scheme, paying £3 million to the
receivers. Argent slightly amended the plans by separating the
residential element from the rest of the scheme and commencing
construction of the Water's Edge first, along with an office
By 1995, when Argent refinanced the scheme, the land value was back
over £25 million. The Water's Edge was trading successfully and the
housing element, Symphony Court, had sold all of its units. The
price for the average family house in the scheme was over £200,000.
Short term finance was supplied by Hypobank
A variety of architects were used to design the buildings in the
complex to create a range of architectural styles. The masterplan
was designed by Terry
. Buildings one, two, four and six
Brindleyplace together with the and the City Inn were all built by
Carillion, as was the conversion of the
Gallery from a Victorian school.
All the buildings are lowrise with the tallest being Three
Brindleyplace at . Eight Brindleyplace is the second tallest with a
height of , although it has more floors than Three Brindleyplace.
Both of these buildings will be surpassed in height upon the
completion of Eleven Brindleyplace.
From the canal, one of The Water's
restaurants and Three Brindleyplace with its tower
is a five storey office building fronting onto
Broad Street. It provides of office space and 134 car parking
spaces. It was the only new office building to be completed in
Birmingham in 1995.
Two Brindleyplace is a six storey office building with office
space. It is built of Marshalls clay brick. The brickwork is a
free-standing flemish bond. By utilizing a outer leaf it was
possible to carry, wind loads between floors (3.9 m) and tie
the brickwork laterally to the floor plates only. More than 1,000
employees work in the
building. The departments based at Brindleyplace include the
International Department and Concerns. The entrance to the building
is by revolving door with three pass activated revolving doors into
the main building next to reception. The top floor houses a large
canteen area with seating for around 150 staff.
is occupied by GVA Grimley
, Watson Wyatt Worldwide
, and was once let to Royal
. It has a full height glazed atrium which consists of a
light post-and-spandrel structure. There are three passenger lifts
and 23 on-site car parking spaces. Construction commenced in 1996
and was completed in April 1998.
Four Brindleyplace consists of of office space with a Bank
restaurant and bar on the ground floor. Accord Sales and Lettings,
Deloitte & Touche
Page, Mercer Human
and Perceptive Informatics are all tenants
in the building. The services engineers were Hoare Lea & Partners
Silk & Frazier
quantity surveyors. It was the winner of the "Best of Best" award.
It received top accolades in the British Council for Offices
Awards 2000 and finalist status in the 2004 Brickwork Awards.
Five Brindleyplace was pre-let to BT
1994 with design work starting in December of the same year.
Construction began in June 1995. BT moved into the offices in
February 1997 and is used as their regional headquarters. It
provides of office space. The construction used the curtain walling
system. Argent worked with BT to provide 'green' features such as
an upflow air conditioning system with heat recovery, openable
windows and energy saving lighting and controls.
Six Brindleyplace provides of office space as well as offering to
retail units that look over Oozells Square. The Thai Edge, which is
one of these restaurants, opened in 2000. Whilst the concept
architect was Allies and Morrison, the production architect was
. Curtins Consulting
Engineers were the structural engineers. It cost £12.3
Seven Brindleyplace provides of office space. Construction
commenced in 2002 and lasted two years. The building has a steel
frame with external walls in a self-supporting brick construction
with ashlar stone rustication and stone dressings. The windows are
detailed in metal, as is the top storey and terminated
Construction began on Eight Brindleyplace in July 2000. It provides
of office space, situated below 35 fully serviced apartments, in
addition to ground floor retail and restaurant units. The 14 storey
structure is split into nine floors of office space and five floors
of residential apartments. Glamalco installed a variety of
Kawneer's precision-engineered curtain walling and window products
throughout the building in a partnering contract with Argent valued
at approximately £1.1 million.
Nine Brindleyplace consists of restaurant space, of office space
and 60 parking spaces. It looks over Broad Street. It is the
location of Number Nine the
, a modern and fine art gallery established in 1999 by
Lee Benson. It is also home to Orion
and the studios to one of their radio stations, BRMB
Ten Brindleyplace has of office space as well as a retail unit
overlooking Broad Street. Sainsbury's occupy the retail unit on the ground
Seven, Eight and Ten Brindleyplace are all owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland
and are all
linked to form a core building. At the time that the company
decided to rent all three buildings, only Eight Brindleyplace had
been completed and was designed to be a standalone building. As a
result, the windows that were removed from the building so that a
connection to the other two could be formed were reused in Seven
and Ten Brindleyplace as to not put the windows to waste.
Water's Edge was the first building to begin construction in the
Brindleyplace scheme. The building contains of retail space along
a canalside location, opposite the International Convention
In 1995, it won the Top Honour Award for
"Excellence on the Waterfront". It is believed that up to two
million people visit The Water's Edge each year, spending up to
Symphony Court, developed by Crosby
, is located on a triangle shaped site across the Brindley
Loop Canal. Completed in 1995, it is noted as being one of the
earliest city centre residential developments. The complex consists
of 143 houses and apartments. It has gated private access. The
value of the residences increased 250% in the first few
11 Brindleyplace under construction in
The development and the surrounding canal apartments is being
completed at an estimated cost of around £350 million. A planning
application for the final phase of the development at 11
Brindleyplace, Brunswick Square, was submitted in September 2006.
The 13 storey building was deferred over Section 106
. The building was designed by
Glenn Howells Architects
located to the rear of the Novotel
was not included in the masterplan however has been described as a
"key component" for the Brindleyplace scheme. There were some
issues raised over the height of the tall building in the
predominantly low rise Brindleyplace development. The distinctive
glazed facade to Eleven Brindleyplace is now a feature of the
development and was designed by CJN Consulting Engineers
Construction commenced in February 2007 and the office building was
topped out in May 2008. Argent, the developer, announced that they
will be the first tenants to move into the building when it is
completed in February 2009.
Brindleyplace consists of three public
: Central Square, Oozells Square and Brunswick
Central Square with Two, Six, Seven and Five Brindleyplace
Central Square consists of a tree-lined area which is able to
accommodate open-air performing arts events, such as ArtsFest
which is held there annually. The square
is paved in York stone and has a fountain featuring 38 jets of
Situated in the centre of the square is the Brindleyplace Cafe.
Constructed of glass and steel, it has an "eye-shaped" footprint.
The structure consists of a tubular steel frame which is glazed.
The vertical structural columns meet the roof members which cross
over at a ridge. This forms two canopies which mirror the footprint
of the building. Forty people can be seated in the by cafe, with
100 also able to sit outside. The glazing consists of double glazed
units with a white dot fritted outer pane. This reduces glare and
Also in the square is a sculpture named "Aquaduct" by Miles Davies
. Made of bronze and
phosphor, the sculpture was the winning entry in a competition
conducted by Brindleyplace Plc in conjunction with the Royal Society of British
. "Aquaduct" was the first of Davies' winning pieces
to be unveiled in August 1995. Situated on a low stepped base, the
sculpture is in two pieces and is in the form of an aqueduct
. It is illuminated at night by recessed
lighting. It was manufactured by Burleighfield Arts
and supported by the
Business Sponsorship of the Arts
(ABSA). The sculpture is tall,
long and wide. The second work by Miles Davies in the Brindleyplace
scheme is "Gates", which is a tall, long and wide, bronze and
phosphor sculpture taking the shape of traditional lock gates on
canals. Like "Aquaduct", it is a hollow construction.
Oozells Square, receiving its name from Oozells Street that ran on
the site before the development, features a channel of still water
running diagonally which is lined by cherry
. Paul de Monchaux
designed the stone sculptured seats and the pergola which are
located in the square. The main entrance to the Ikon Gallery overlooks the square.
Brunswick Square is located to the west of the development. Whilst
being a pedestrian-zone, it has vehicular access. It is overlooked
by the City Inn hotel and will form the main entrance to Eleven
When the scheme was opened, Argent became that if the development
was broken up and sold off separately, the public realm would be
neglected. They took it upon themselves to manage the site in
conjunction with GVA Grimley
, who also
have offices at Three Brindleyplace. The annual budget for the
management and maintenance of the public realm at Brindleyplace is
£890,000, with the overall budget for the entire scheme being £4
million. Over 70 staff help maintain Brindleyplace.