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The Irish Centre Tower

Architectural visual

Iconic high rise in Digbeth

Our brief was to introduce of a new landmark tower along the southern route through Digbeth towards Birmingham city centre, in a project that balances efficient design, bold expressive architecture and dynamic solutions to unique site conditions.

Rising to 47 stories and providing 400 new inner-city homes, this vertical community has been designed to support living and creative working, with provision for studio space within apartments to meet the requirements of residents. Alongside this, a host of collaborative home working spaces and communal spaces for residents to meet and exchange ideas and stories have been integrated into the tower’s plan.

The building, in both its form and façade treatment, has been carefully developed to respond to the exceptional conditions this island site offers. The vertical fluted glazed façade and expressed fins provide a reference to Digbeth architectural style and set the bar for a new class of Birmingham City Centre high rise.

GNA worked closely with landscape artist Rob Colbourne to design a bespoke urban realm, entrance, and podium to the building. Providing essential soakaway and sustainable drainage interventions to assist with challenging flood risk criteria, this space also sought to tell a story about both the historic former use of the site and its geological past with a ‘river bed’ streetscape and elevated walkway bringing residents directly into the central circulation and break out spaces located in the base of the building.


The tower’s dynamic form with unique leaf shape floorplate and bespoke aerodynamic fins are a direct response to the conditions found at the site and the local area. The building’s form was designed and refined in a wind tunnel facility to mitigate the impact of intensive prevailing wind forces to ensure both an efficient structural design and comfortable conditions were provided in the local microclimate at the base of the building. Bespoke aerofoil profile fins integrated into the façade minimised downdrafts along the body of the tower and a projecting colonnade structure at ground floor simultaneously shelter and ground the building with an identifiable human scale as resident’s cross the entrance threshold.

Architectual External Visual