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Eastside masterplan earns Node a national award

Long-term vision to transform Birmingham's Eastside and bring former Typhoo Tea factory back to life handed national recognition

Plans to regenerate large swathes of Birmingham's Eastside district have been given a national award.

Birmingham-based agency Node has been crowned practice of the year at the Urban Design Awards.

Node was recognised for its work on the new Knowledge Hub project in collaboration with Birmingham City University's School of Architecture and Design and its research arm Co.Lab.

The project (see video above for designs) was shortlisted to the final four entries by a panel, with the winning entry chosen by popular vote.

We first reported last year that designs were being drawn up for the Knowledge Hub which could include a outdoor cinema, new future for the neglected Typhoo Wharf building, public square off James Watt Queensway and the reduction of Jennens Road down to one lane.

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It will benefit from its proximity to the new terminal for the high-speed rail line HS2 between Birmingham and London.

Birmingham-based urban planning agency Node collects the award for best practice at the 2017 Urban Design Awards

The scheme also links to Birmingham City University's STEAMhouse project which was backed with a £14 million funding package from government to open a creative innovation centre in the Digbeth area.

Node's managing director Nigel Wakefield said: "We are delighted to have been recognised as practice of the year as we approach our sixth anniversary.

"This award will help us to continue to grow our team, both in Birmingham and around the country."

Director Katie Kershaw added: "The Knowledge Hub project has been an incredible opportunity for us.

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"We are enormously grateful to our collaborator clients Birmingham City University and Co.Lab for the opportunity to work on a project of international significance."

Alessandro Columbano, senior lecturer at Birmingham City University, said: "The Eastside of Birmingham will be a key area of growth and cultural significance with the arrival of HS2 and other infrastructure projects set to take place.

"The Knowledge Hub is a much-needed vision to really bring all these elements together and transform this part of the city while protecting the cultural assets and inspiring arts organisations located there."

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