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Birmingham Heritage Week 2023

Birmingham Heritage Week 2023

Birmingham Heritage Week began this week, a city-wide festival shining a spotlight on Birmingham’s fascinating history, with some of the city’s most important heritage locations and unique buildings opening their doors for talks, tours, workshops, walks and much more.

Founded in Birmingham, we are proud of the city in which we were created, and we therefore are dedicated to providing excellent architecture and service to the people and City of Birmingham through both preservation of heritage assets and exciting new developments. With a focus on ensuring a respectful and considered design development process, particularly for listed and conservation projects where we get ‘under the skin’ of buildings, to better understand the nuances and unique characteristics which make up it’s significance, both in its fabric, its design and its use, including its setting in a wider Conservation Area.

To celebrate Birmingham Heritage Week this year, below we spotlight some of our conservation and heritage projects to date.

First up is The Exchange, for the University of Birmingham. This project saw the development of Grade II Listed former Municipal Bank, a much-loved building at the heart of the city. The high-quality creative refurbishment was developed as a publicly accessible city-centre campus with a civic identity.

This week the University of Birmingham are hosting guided tours of The Exchange building, find out more here.

Next is our flagship office ‘The Engine Room’ is located within Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, where we sensitively renovated a grade II listed, former Canal Wharf building into a contemporary space that allows for collaboration and creativity to flourish. In 1838, The Engine Room was home to the invention of the electroplating process. Today, this spirit of innovation lives on within the building, adopted by our studio daily.

Around the corner in the Jewellery Quarter is Derwent House, a full refurbishment and conversion of historic Grade II listed building originally built as a metal pressing factory for Taylor Challen in 1902, in constant use as a metal works factory until it became unsustainable. Working with Javelin Block, we have undertaken the careful redesign of the internal arrangement to provide 40 new apartments.

Garth House, the Grade II* Listed Arts and Crafts building plays a key role in the Hotel & Conference Centre development. Constructed in 1901, Garth House was one of only five residential dwellings designed by William Bidlake and is the largest of the collection. It has been restored to enhance its identity whilst considering its surroundings within the Edgbaston Conservation Area.

At GNA we are also in close collaboration with the Black Country Living Museum, to translocate and recreate a functioning 1940’s – 60’s street. Recently having completed phase two of 17 buildings in total, the latest buildings include the Elephant and Castle Pub, a 1950s Marsh & Baxter Butcher, and the West Bromwich Building Society.

Looking to the future we continue our collaboration with the University of Birmingham, working to upgrade and maintain the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Within the Grade I listed building, we are carrying out works to enhance the visitor experience, improve accessibility and reimagine the entrance and reception area.

We also very recently submitted for full planning and listed building approval for Friar Gate, consisting of a retrofit of a 19th century bonded warehouse, find out more here.

Our dedication to conservation safeguards the cultural legacy of the past, making us a trusted partner for projects that demand a meticulous understanding of architectural history with a passion for preserving the treasures of our built environment, and our City.

Glancy Nicholls Architects