GNA were chosen for the brand-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* Arts and Crafts house by William Bidlake.

The new building incorporates a 172-bed hotel and conference centre with a series of flexible conferencing suites.

The project’s 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.

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.