CENTENARY SQUARE: 10-storey ‘chequerboard’ office block approved again
Plans for a distinctive “chequerboard” office block in Birmingham’s Centenary Square have again been approved by councillors.
The building at 5 Centenary Square – which forms part of the Arena Central plans in the area – was approved by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee today (Feb 18).
The plans were put forward by Arena Central Developments and designed by Make Architects and Gillespies – and include the green “Serpentine route” which runs through the development.
The plans were previously approved in 2019 and now add an extra storey of office space and extra space for plant machinery which has earned the scheme a BREEAM rating of “Excellent”.
The proposed ten-storey building lies next to the grade II-listed former Birmingham Municipal Bank – and officers have stated the impact would be “acceptable”.
The plans include 30 car parking spaces and 160 cycle spaces, and were approved subject to a section 106 agreement tied to a previous planning obligation agreement for the Arena Central development.
The Canal and Rivers Trust had been critical of the potential impact of the views out of Gas Street Basin – “although the impact might be minimal”.
A report to councillors states the top floor will include a roof top terrace/balcony area “wrapping round the northern, curved corner of the building overlooking Centenary Square”.
The report states: “The roof would also incorporate a brown roof to soften its appearance and contribute to the development’s biodiversity enhancement credentials, and the roof of the internal plant room is proposed to be finished to provide space for photovoltaics to contribute towards the sustainability of the building.”
Detailing the chequerboard design, the report states: “The cladding design, alternate solid and glazed panels, seeks to create a simple, bold chequerboard pattern that emphasises the curved corner.
“Around the north and east elevations, the width of the panels gradually increases, with the largest panels located at the centre of the curve above the main entrance.
“At the top and bottom of the building, the cladding pattern accommodates openings and terraces.
“The rooftop plant enclosure also continues the pattern of solid panels as a screen, with louvres set back behind to conceal the plant.”
Councillors voted in favour of the plans unanimously.
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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