Brindleyplace is a large mixed-use canalside development, in the centre of Birmingham, England (gbmapping|SP060866). It is often written erroneously as Brindley Place, the name of the street (in turn named after the 18th century canal engineer James Brindley) around which it is built. [,-1.91588&sspn=0.003751,0.013561&ie=UTF8&z=17&ll=52.477585,-1.913853&spn=0.003751,0.013561&om=1 Google Map showing Brindleyplace] ] It was developed by Argent Group PLC from 1993 onwards.

In addition to shops, bars and restaurants, Brindleyplace is home to the National Sea Life Centre, Royal Bank of Scotland, BRMB, and the Ikon Gallery of art. The site covers 17 acres (69,000 m²) of mixed-use redevelopment on a grand scale - the UK's largest such project. [ [ BirminghamUK: Brindleyplace] ] The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line Canal separates Brindleyplace from the International Convention Centre, although there are linking bridges. The National Indoor Arena, Old Turn Junction and bustling bars of Broad Street are nearby and it is easily accessible and within walking distance of the main bus and train routes.


The area occupied by Brindleyplace was, at the height of Birmingham's industrial past, the site of factories, however, by the 1970s as Britain's manufacturing went into decline, the factories closed down and the buildings lay derelict for many years.

Birmingham City Council's aim was to create an environment of water features, walkways and new office and leisure buildings, that would open out onto the adjacent canal. The scheme was assembled by the council in the 1980s. The council were also seeing success with the construction of the International Convention Centre with the Symphony Hall, and the National Indoor Arena. A development brief was drawn up, identifying the site as an area to attract people to compliment the convention centre.cite book|author=Andy Coupland|title=Reclaiming the City: Mixed Use Development|year=1997|publisher=Taylor & Francis|isbn=0419213600]

Initial proposals were drawn up by Merlin, who teamed with developers Shearwater. However, Merlin pulled out of the scheme and were replaced by Rosehaugh. Rosehaugh had paid £26 million for the site in 1990. Rosehaugh revised Merlin's retail-led scheme to include more office space and a residential element. By 1992, a detailed set of proposals which included retailing and restaurants with a central square had been agreed. However, Rosehaugh went into receivership by the end of the year. Argent took over the scheme, paying £3 million to the receivers. Argent slightly amended the plans by separating the residential element from the rest of the scheme and commencing construction of the Water's Edge first, along with an office building.

By 1995, when Argent refinanced the scheme, the land value was back over £25 million. The Water's Edge was trading successfully and the housing element, Symphony Court, had sold all of its units. The price for the average family house in the scheme was over £200,000. Short term finance was supplied by Hypobank.


A variety of architects were used to design the buildings in the complex to create a range of architectural styles. The masterplan was designed by Terry Farrell. [cite book|author=Matthew Carmona|title=The Value of Urban Design: A Research Project Commissioned by CABE and DETR to Examine the Value Added by Good Urban Design|year=2001|publisher=Thomas Telford|isbn=0727729810] Buildings one, two, four and six Brindleyplace together with the and the City Inn were all built by Carillion, as was the conversion of the Ikon Gallery from a Victorian school. [ [ Carillion Fact-sheet] ]

All the buildings are lowrise with the tallest being Three Brindleyplace at convert|55|m|ft|0. [ [ Skyscrapernews: Three Brindleyplace] ] Eight Brindleyplace is the second tallest with a height of convert|52|m|ft|0, although it has more floors than Three Brindleyplace. [ [ Skyscrapernews: Eight Brindleyplace] ] Both of these buildings will be surpassed in height upon the completion of Eleven Brindleyplace.

Office buildings

[ One Brindleyplace] is a five storey office building fronting onto Broad Street. It provides convert|68553|sqft|m2|1 of office space and 134 car parking spaces. It was the only new office building to be completed in Birmingham in 1995.

Two Brindleyplace is a six storey office building with convert|75000|sqft|m2|0 office space. It is built of Marshalls clay brick. The brickwork is a free-standing convert|9|in|cm|0 flemish bond. By utilizing a convert|9|in|cm|0 outer leaf it was possible to carry, wind loads between floors (3.9 m) and tie the brickwork laterally to the floor plates only. [ [ Marshalls Case Study: Bankers Move to Brindleyplace] ] Over 600 Lloyds TSB employees work in the building.

[ Three Brindleyplace] is occupied by GVA Grimley, Watson Wyatt Worldwide and Regus, and was once let to Royal Mail. It has a full height glazed atrium which consists of a light post-and-spandrel structure. There are three passenger lifts and 23 on-site car parking spaces. Construction commenced in 1996 and was completed in April 1998.

Four Brindleyplace consists of convert|114000|sqft|m2|0 of office space with a Bank restaurant and bar on the ground floor. Accord Sales and Lettings, Deloitte & Touche, Michael Page, Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Perceptive Informatics are all tenants in the building. The services engineers were Hoare Lea & Partners, whilst Silk & Frazier were the quantity surveyors. It was the winner of the "Best of Best" award. [ [ MJN Colston: Brindleyplace] ] It received top accolades in the British Council for Offices Awards 2000 and finalist status in the 2004 Brickwork Awards. [ [ Ecademy: Bricks: Brindleyplace, Birmingham] ]

Five Brindleyplace was pre-let to BT in 1994 with design work starting in December of the same year. Construction began in June 1995. BT moved into the offices in February 1997 and is used as their regional headquarters. [cite book|author=Construction Industry Board|title=Partnering in the Team: A Report|year=1997|publisher=Thomas Telford|isbn=0727725513] It provides convert|120000|sqft|m2|0 of office space. The construction used the curtain walling system. [ [ Alcoa: Principles of Curtain Walling] ] Argent worked with BT to provide 'green' features such as an upflow air conditioning system with heat recovery, openable windows and energy saving lighting and controls. [ [ Argent: We are trying to deliver lower energy, greener buildings in the right locations] ]

Six Brindleyplace provides convert|92000|sqft|m2|0 of office space as well as offering to retail units that look over Oozells Square. The Thai Edge, which is one of these restaurants, opened in 2000. Whilst the concept architect was Allies and Morrison, the production architect was Weedon Partnership. Curtins Consulting Engineers were the structural engineers. It cost £12.3 million. [" [ George Demetri appreciates the qualities of Number Six Brindleyplace] " - Brick Bulletin (Winter 2001)]

Seven Brindleyplace provides convert|85000|sqft|m2|0 of office space. Construction commenced in 2002 and lasted two years. The building has a steel frame with external walls in a self-supporting brick construction with ashlar stone rustication and stone dressings. The windows are detailed in metal, as is the top storey and terminated cornice.

Construction began on Eight Brindleyplace in July 2000. It provides convert|92000|sqft|m2|0 of office space, situated below 35 fully serviced apartments, in addition to ground floor retail and restaurant units. The 14 storey structure is split into nine floors of office space and five floors of residential apartments. Glamalco installed a variety of Kawneer's precision-engineered curtain walling and window products throughout the building in a partnering contract with Argent valued at approximately £1.1 million." [ New Design Challenges Result From Royal Bank Of Scotland's Pre Let Of Argent's Last Brindleyplace Buildings] " - Alcoa (31 January, 2003)]

Nine Brindleyplace consists convert|26800|sqft|m2|0 of restaurant space, convert|43000|sqft|m2|0 of office space and 60 parking spaces. It looks over Broad Street. It is the location of Number Nine the Gallery, a modern and fine art gallery established in 1999 by Lee Benson. [ [ Number Nine The Gallery: About Us] ]

Ten Brindleyplace has convert|62000|sqft|m2|0 of office space as well as a convert|5000|sqft|m2|0 retail unit overlooking Broad Street. [ Brindleyplace: The Buildings] ] Sainsbury's occupy the retail unit on the ground floor.

Seven, Eight and Ten Brindleyplace are all owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland and are all linked to form a core building. At the time that the company decided to rent all three buildings, only Eight Brindleyplace had been completed and was designed to be a standalone building. As a result, the windows that were removed from the building so that a connection to the other two could be formed were reused in Seven and Ten Brindleyplace as to not put the windows to waste.

Water's Edge

Water's Edge was the first building to begin construction in the Brindleyplace scheme. The building contains convert|60000|m2|sqft|0 of retail space along a canalside location, opposite the International Convention Centre. In 1995, it won the Top Honour Award for "Excellence on the Waterfront". [ [ Benoy: Brindleyplace Project Sheet] ] It is believed that up to two million people visit The Water's Edge each year, spending up to £13.9 million. [ [ Brindleyplace: The Water's Edge] ]

ymphony Court

Symphony Court, developed by Crosby Homes, is located on a triangle shaped site across the Brindley Loop Canal. [ [ Lyons Sleeman Hoare: Symphony Court, Brindleyplace] ] Completed in 1995, it is noted as being one of the earliest city centre residential developments. The complex consists of 143 houses and apartments. It has gated private access. The value of the residences increased 250% in the first few years.cite book|author=Lynn Beadle|title=Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat|year=2001|publisher=Taylor & Francis|isbn=0415232414]

Eleven Brindleyplace

The development and the surrounding canal apartments is being completed at an estimated cost of around £350 million. A planning application for the final phase of the development at 11 Brindleyplace, Brunswick Square, [ [ entry for 11 Brindleyplace] ] was submitted in September 2006. [" [ Plans for final phase of Brindleyplace] " - Birmingham Post (September 4 2006)] The 13 storey building was deferred over Section 106 on November 2, 2006. [" [ Brindley offices get go-ahead] " - Birmingham Post (November 3 2006)] The building was designed by Glenn Howells Architects and is located to the rear of the Novotel hotel. It was not included in the masterplan however has been described as a "key component" for the Brindleyplace scheme. There were some issues raised over the height of the tall building in the predominantly low rise Brindleyplace development. Construction commenced in February 2007 and the office building was topped out in May 2008. [cite web |url= |title=Topping Out at Eleven Brindleyplace Signals the Home Straight for New Office Building |publisher=Locate Birmingham |date=2008-05-19 |accessdate=2008-05-22] Argent, the developer, announced that they will be the first tenants to move into the building when it is completed in February 2009. [" [ Argent commits to future at 11 Brindleyplace] " - Birmingham Post (August 9 2007)]


Brindleyplace consists of three public squares: Central Square, Oozells Square and Brunswick Square.

Central Square

Central Square consists of a convert|90|m|ft|0|adj=on tree-lined area which is able to accommodate open-air performing arts events, such as ArtsFest which is held there annually. The square is paved in York stone and has a fountain featuring 38 jets of water.

Situated in the centre of the square is the Brindleyplace Cafe. Constructed of glass and steel, it has an "eye-shaped" footprint. The structure consists of a tubular steel frame which is glazed. The vertical structural columns meet the roof members which cross over at a ridge. This forms two canopies which mirror the footprint of the building. Forty people can be seated in the convert|14|m|ft|1|adj=on by convert|7.6|m|ft|1|adj=on cafe, with 100 also able to sit outside. The glazing consists of double glazed units with a white dot fritted outer pane. This reduces glare and solar gain. [ [ CZWG: Brindleyplace Cafe Project Sheet] ]

Also in the square is a sculpture named "Aquaduct" by Miles Davies. Made of bronze and phosphor, the sculpture was the winning entry in a competition conducted by Brindleyplace Plc in conjunction with the Royal Society of British Sculptors. "Aquaduct" was the first of Davies' winning pieces to be unveiled in August 1995. Situated on a low stepped base, the sculpture is in two pieces and is in the form of an aqueduct. It is illuminated at night by recessed lighting. It was manufactured by Burleighfield Arts and supported by the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts (ABSA). The sculpture is convert|6.1|m|ft|1 tall, convert|11.5|m|ft|1 long and convert|30|cm|in|1 wide.cite book|author=George Thomas Noszlopy|coauthors=Jeremy Beach|title=Public Sculpture of Birmingham: Including Sutton Coldfield|year=1998|publishers=Liverpool University Press|isbn=0853236925] The second work by Miles Davies in the Brindleyplace scheme is "Gates", which is a convert|4|m|ft|1|adj=on tall, convert|3.8|m|ft|1|adj=on long and convert|30|cm|in|1|adj=on wide, bronze and phosphor sculpture taking the shape of traditional lock gates on canals. Like "Aquaduct", it is a hollow construction.

Oozells Square

Oozells Square, receiving its name from Oozells Street that ran on the site before the development, features a channel of still water running diagonally which is lined by cherry trees. Paul de Monchaux designed the stone sculptured seats and the pergola which are located in the square. [ Brindleyplace: The Squares] ] The main entrance to the Ikon Gallery overlooks the square.

Brunswick Square

Brunswick Square is located to the west of the development. Whilst being a pedestrian-zone, it has vehicular access. [ Civic Trust: Birmingham - Brindleyplace] ] It is overlooked by the City Inn hotel and will form the main entrance to Eleven Brindleyplace.


When the scheme was opened, Argent became that if the development was broken up and sold off separately, the public realm would be neglected. They took it upon themselves to manage the site in conjunction with GVA Grimley, who also have offices at Three Brindleyplace. The annual budget for the management and maintenance of the public realm at Brindleyplace is £890,000, with the overall budget for the entire scheme being £4 million. Over 70 staff help maintain Brindleyplace.


External links

* [ Brindleyplace website]

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