2014, Birmingham, UK
Collaborative Design competition
We propose a strong, simple intervention to create a vibrant and contemporary public space at this key civic location. Our concept focuses on cutting into the ‘brick carpet’, excavating a series of ‘sunken spaces’ as an intervention to provide focus and cohesion. The plan is derived from an initial study of desire lines and key vistas. Excavated bricks are re-arranged to create a new ‘shared surface’ to the south of the square, incorporating the transport links.
A ‘main square’ creates a new large-scale event space and multifunctional zone, providing for a range of seasonal activities at the heart of the city and drawing people to the site. Activities could include, civic events, performing arts, boating, ice skating and markets.
Moving towards the Hall of Memory the intervention transitions to smaller scale, to create more private and intimate spaces for the public to relax.
Layered concrete references the strata of local sandstone. Low-level lighting creates a soft and glowing ambience at night. Planting is used to create an oasis of greenery, while the integration of water references the historic presence of a basin on this site, and the extensive network of canals for which Birmingham is renowned