Birmingham’s highest profile architect has seen off a number of big name competitors and cemented a long-standing relationship, by securing the contract to design one of Manchester’s most important development projects.
Glenn Howells, which has significant operations in Birmingham and London, saw off other leading practices such as FLACQ, Stanton Williams and Austin-Smith:Lord to win the project for Elisabeth House in St Peter’s Square.
A national competition to select a preferred architect for the scheme was launched in May 2008, attracting almost 50 architectural practices from across the UK, with Glenn Howell’s design to replace the 1960s office block coming out on top.
The scheme is being backed by the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund (GMPVF) and Argent, the regeneration specialists behind Brindleyplace and Birmingham City Council’s preferred developer at Paradise Circus.
Argent has a long-standing relationship with Glenn Howells with his most recently designing 11 Brindleyplace, the final piece of the Brindleyplace jigsaw that will be completed in the spring next year.
Gary Taylor, joint managing director of Argent (UK Developments) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be selected by the GMPVF as 50/50 joint venture partner and development manager for Elisabeth House. This is the best redevelopment site in the city centre and deserves a piece of architecture which the city can be justifiably proud of.
“The new Elisabeth House will ultimately become a large scale, high quality, Grade A commercial building. The scheme will incorporate a vibrant mix of uses at ground floor level as well as a stunning reception area and could accommodate office floorplates of over 20,000 sq ft. The building promises to be a magnet for high quality potential occupiers.”