GNA were chosen for the new hotel and conference facility, following a design competition on the University’s framework. The project comprises a complex site within the Edgbaston Conservation area and encompasses the refurbishment of a Grade II Listed Arts and Crafts house by William Bidlake and the refurbishment and extension of Edwardian style Hornton Grange – a building demonstrating a high level of architectural quality and significance.

The project focus is upon the provision of a central conferencing hub, while establishing an architectural hierarchy and series of relationships between contemporary and existing buildings. This pragmatic yet sensitive design led approach has been developed to foster an appropriate setting within the site against the existing conservation context.

The new proposed building incorporates a 172-bed hotel and conference centre with a series of conferencing suites. Whilst the sympathetic refurbishment of Garth House and Hornton Grange restore buildings of significance back to their architectural standing, they also elevate the design environment.

Complexities of the site such as mature formal gardens, the historical settings and restoration of a listed building provided a series of challenges throughout the planning process. From the initial brief, an honest, open and flexible dialogue with the planners ensured all efforts were made to remain sympathetic to conservation concerns.