A site in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter that has been home to an engineering firm for more than 50 years will be transformed by GHA into a residential-led mixed-use scheme that will become a new hub for the quarter. Plans aim to bring a largely underused site back into economic use and to dramatically improve pedestrian permeability by creating a vibrant destination for the Quarter.
The 1.6 ha urban block spanning from Regents Place to Graham Street has historical significance, not only for its central location within the Industrial Middle of the Jewellery Quarter Conservation area but it was also the former home to James Watt.
The masterplan proposals are for a mixed-use scheme of more than 320 new homes – including lofts and duplexes – and circa 100,000 sq ft of commercial space across 20 buildings between two and five storeys.
The site will be sensitively developed by maintaining much of its heritage and historic character by retaining four buildings of architectural merit, two of which are statutorily listed.
A new public space will be created in the heart of the scheme, animated by shops, bars and restaurants at street level. In addition, a new pedestrian route from the direction of the city centre into the heart of the Jewellery Quarter will be created by opening up a section of Northwood Street which currently only serves the AE Harris’ factory.
The urban grain, roofscape and density of the proposals have been shaped by the neighbouring street patterns, building typologies and characteristics which are all typical of the Jewellery Quarter.