A design competition has revealed new visions that could breathe life back into five threatened Birmingham landmarks.

Central Library split in half, the Methodist Central Hall turned into starter units, or Moseley Road Baths transformed into a concert hall were among the entries to Birmingham Civic Society’s 'Re-imagine' competition.

The brief was for designers or anyone with a passion for regeneration to think of new uses for five city buildings with an uncertain future.

The list comprised Curzon Street Station, the 16th-century Golden Lion Inn in Cannon Hill Park, John Madin's Central Library, Moseley Road Swimming Baths in Balsall Heath and the Methodist Central Hall.

There was also a 'wildcard' category where entrants could choose any building in Birmingham considered at risk.

The winner was this week revealed as John Mason, who re-imagined the 1903 Methodist Central Hall, in Corporation Street, as a complex for starter units with a café and conference area.

The judges said: "The panel was impressed by the practicality and potential deliverability of the idea.

"The idea had the potential to act as a catalyst for the surrounding area which was felt to be highly significant in Birmingham's architectural heritage and history.

"The proposed use would compliment the existing building very well and ensure this significant and prominent building is imaginatively brought back into use."

 

The competition and judging panel was led by Gavin Orton, a society trustee and a member of its planning committee, and included other members of the committee, Gursharan Kaur from RIBA West Midlands and Birmingham Post editor Stacey Barnfield among others.

Mr Orton said: "We wanted to bring these buildings into the public consciousness. They form the rich and diverse architectural heritage we have in our city and it is important we do everything we can to save them.

"We wanted to bring these buildings into the the public consciousness and the creative ideas people have to save these great buildings.

"These buildings form the rich and diverse architectural heritage we have in our city and it is important we do everything we can to save them.

"This approach and understanding has been echoed in the extremely positive response we have received to the competition.

"We received entries from a range of individuals, special interest groups, students and architectural practices.

Two runners-up were also named.

Keith Bracey's wildcard entry to turn Gas Retort House, in Gas Street, into a Lunar Society Museum was praised by judges for an appropriate selection for the proposed use.

Architecture firm BPN submitted a plan to create a mixed-use scheme in Central Library, with judges impressed by the "drama, simplicity and creativity" of the concept.

Special recognition was given to four other entrants: APEC Architects' plan to turn Moseley Road Baths into a baths and music venue; Peter Lippitt's vision for the old Central TV studios as a food market; a railway heritage centre for Curzon Street by Vintage Trains; and Intervention Architecture's wish to bring Moseley Road baths back into use as a pool.

The winning entry received a £150 prize with the two runners-up winning £50 each.

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