Squaring the Jewellery Quarter

The Birmingham Post has reported that Chord Deeley's St Georges Scheme will include a new public square adding to the squares that will feature in the Newhall Square development and the new public square in front of the Big Peg office block on Vyse Street, Public square feature of Jewellery Quarter's £160m St Georges scheme. The scheme and the square should help further the success of the quarter which was voted "the best urban neighbourhood in the UK by top architects and designers in the Great Neighbourhood category of the annual Academy of Urbanism awards", http://www.birminghampost.net/news/newsaggregator//tm_headline=jewellery-quarter-voted-best-urban-neighbourhood-by-uk-architects-and-designers%26method=full%26objectid=22358489%26siteid=65233-name_page.html.

The new square will form the centrepiece of the £160 million St Georges scheme and will be built with phase one of the scheme known as Kettleworks on a site bounded by Icknield Street, Camden Street and Carver Street. The site also incorporates Moreton Street and Pope Street, where the square will be located.

At 60m x 50m the new public space is equivalent to Brindleyplace’s Oozell’s Square and, as well as providing an area for visitors to relax, it is intended that it will be used as a venue for craft markets and outdoor performances. A planting programme will also introduce trees to the area.

A photo showing Brindleyplace's Oozells square is shown below to show the scale of the new proposed square.

The St Georges scheme is intended to act as a new gateway to the industrial fringe of the Jewellery Quarter and will be a mixed use development of office, residentiall and retail and leisure space including new hotels and a multi-storey car park. The first phase called Kettleworks will be a £55 million conversion of the former Swan kitchenware factory.

The large Victorian factory where men in overalls once made pots and pans will soon be home to suited office workers sitting at rows of desks.

Architects claim the conversion of the landmark building will be as dramatic as Fort Dunlop’s switch from derelict tyre factory to modern office.

The building was initially set to be converted into flats, but with the city living apartment market collapsing, the developer Chord Deeley has decided to turn it into offices.

The planning application is shown below.
Application number

Date application received

Date application registered

Date application decided

132 Icknield Street, The Kettleworks, Hockley, Birmingham,

Partial demolition of existing to allow for conversion of building into office/mix use/ car park/public square/link

The square will join the new public square being developed for the Jewellery Quarter by the City Council and the square within the Newhall Square development on the site of the former Science Museum on Newhall Street.

The new public square fronting the Big Peg office block on Vyse Street is being developed by Birmingham City Council as a "Golden Square" for the Jewellery Quarter aimed at boosting the area and providing space for events and as a meeting point; Design competition for Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. The design of the square will be decided in April following an international design competition which received over 100 applications which were whittled down to six companies, Planit Intelligent Environments (Cheshire), Capita Lovejoy (Birmingham), Page/Park (Glasgow), Barton Willmore (Reading), ARUP (Solihull), FIRA Landscape Ltd (Birmingham).


The square or piazza as it is labelled on plans for the Newhall Square development will sit adjacent to the Travelodge currently under construction and provide another open space for the Jewellery Quarter and a link to the adjacent canal.

Plans of the Newhall Square design are shown below with an image of the proposed development and photographs of the site from the 6th December 2007 and February 8th 2008 respectively.


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