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25 artist's impressions of Birmingham buildings - did the architects get it right?

Thankfully, some were consigned to the design dustbin. Others became reality and followed their initial vision to the most detailed finish

This 1998 sketch showing the new-look Bullring from High Street shows a bustling city centre retail destination

A carefully-crafted artist’s impression has the ability to make or break a multi-million-pound property development.

Get the initial vision right and the planning process can be a breeze.

Get it wrong and the chances of taking a developer’s dream beyond the drawing board are going to be a struggle.

Artist’s impressions are an integral part of the architectural process and range from hand-drawn sketches to fly-through videos showing internal and external finishes.

All of Birmingham’s high-profile buildings started life on an architect’s sketch pad with sketches featuring healthy, happy people under clear blue skies having a joyful time in their new surroundings.

Thankfully, some were consigned to the design dustbin. Others became reality and followed their initial vision to the most detailed finish.

The £188 million Library of Birmingham went one step further than a 2D representation with an online version of the final structure in the Second Life virtual world to show how the inside space could work before a brick was laid.

The artist’s impression to announce the radical library depicts closely the building we have today, while the Glass Street development planned for the city centre canal network on the site now occupied by Brindleyplace and the ICC never saw the light of day.

Vertiplex, a skyscraping theme park planned for Eastside, was another vast development that never materialised, along with Richard Rogers’ vision for a library in the same area .

The Mailbox development differs slightly from the initial drawings, but is recognisable as the mixed-use building about to be redeveloped once again.

Take a look at our favourite 25 artist’s impressions of Birmingham buildings from the last few decades to see how many you recognise.

 

 

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