Sidell Architects

Projects / Snowhill

While working as SG, our current team were responsible for the masterplan & design of the infrastructure and all buildings on this significant city centre site at Snow Hill Station, Birmingham. By reconfiguring the adjacent highways, widening the site, and by using the existing topography we were able to create major new public realm with underground vehicular servicing and car parking and to incorporate a viaduct to carry the new tram link.

Following completion of the Masterplan and the commencement of the enabling works, new tramline and viaduct, SG were appointed to design the first two phases of the development to accommodate approximately 55000m2 net area of high quality offices with A1/A3 use at ground level in two separate buildings. These are designed as a pair, predominantly in glass, with a variety of innovative shading devices and specialist glazing, adapted to each orientation of the facades. Together with state-of-the-art MEP and structural solutions this created highly sustainable buildings with an overall ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating.

Building One is complete and let to Barclays and KPMG with the internal fit-out of four floors of offices for Barclays completed by the team.  Building Two is also complete and occupied by the HS2 design team and Gowling WLG, the design having included the interior fit-out of the entrance hall and all common parts.

Three Snowhill, also for Ballymore Properties, will form the third and last phase of the masterplan.  An unusual complexity in the design of this office building was the necessity to build on and incorporate an existing concrete podium and deep basement structure built as the base for hotel and residential towers, but later abandoned. The proposal enhances all the principles of the masterplan in terms of building uses, connectivity, pedestrian permeability, scale and massing, and will create lively mixed use frontages in a previously hostile area. Large flexible floorplates up to 2,400m², in a 17 storey building, will deliver approximately 36,000m² net high quality office space as well as leisure and conference facilities, while presenting a very powerful architectural impact both inside and out. Although located at the furthest point from Colmore Row, it will be the most prominent of the three buildings and is configured to take advantage of the largely uninterrupted views out towards the various areas of the city. All facades to office space are fully glazed and the framed corners in clear glass look directly over key Birmingham landmarks. Designed in the same palette of materials, but in a strikingly different form, it will complete the already commercially successful Snowhill development and provide a dramatic landmark for such an important city centre site.  The design team took a holistic approach to energy efficiency/sustainability applied in response to the project objectives and has considered onsite energy reduction in achieving an overall BREEAM target rating of Excellent.

Building Three is under construction and is due for completion in early 2019 monitored by SG.

The Snowhill development has significantly helped to regenerate a key area of the city and provide a strategic link between the existing business district around Colmore Row and the developing Gun and Jewellery Quarters to the north. It will now become part of the ‘Snowhill Masterplan’ section of the Birmingham ‘Big City Plan’.

Location
Birmingham
Clients
Ballymore Properties Ltd. Plc.
Hines
Railtrack
Barclays
Size
Building 1 – 25600m2 net
Building 2 – 29250m2 net
Building 3 – 33400m2 net
Contract Value
Infrastructure – £25m
Building 1 – £45m
Building 2 – £65m
Building 3 – £100m

Images by Paul Riddle
Images by Chris Fletcher
Images by Stavros Sotiriou
Images by Nathan Spencer
Visuals by The Neighbourhood
Visuals by Designhive