Beorma breaks ice

Work has started on the £200 million Beorma development, 107m Digbeth Tower for the home of the people of Beorma, as the first phase, the conversion of the 35,000 sq ft historic Cold Store building into an innovation centre for businesses, has started with the stripping out of the Cold Store. Whether the whole development which includes a 27 storey tower, is completed as planned remains open to the market as the 27 storey block will go only only if occupiers are found in advance,

Salhia, the developers, are seeoking to start on the main phase one of the project in June or July 2011 depending on how the stipping out of the Cold Store building goes.

The Cold Store is interesting architectural with the Pevsner architectural guide describing it as "former cold store of 1899 by Ernest C. Bewlay, impressively functional with something of H.H. Richardson's Romanesque in its deeply chamfered paired windows with lunettes above"(p.179, 2005, Foster).

The building was designed for Linde British Refrigeration Company. The frontage onto Digbeth has 10 bays which at ground floor level have semi-circular relieving arches and the 7 bays at left are blind but at right the 3 metal-framed windows have cambered heads. The loading bay is at the east end of the building next to a courtyard adjacent to the street and Orwell Passage.

Photos showing the exterior of the Cold Store as work takes place stripping it out.


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