The building that is now the home of the Birmingham Post has been recognised for its tranformation into one of Birmingham’s leading office destinations.
Fort Dunlop – which lay derelict for years before it was transformed in a partnership between Advantage West Midlands and Urban Splash – has been given the Renaissance Award for 2010 from the Birmingham Civic Society which recognises the most successful restoration project completed in the city in the preceding year.
“It’s a great example of Birmingham’s industrial architectural heritage but had been left redundant and neglected for over 20 years,” said Paul Lister of 2B Clear Consultancy and chair of the Civic Society’s planning committee, which makes the award.
“The conversion of Fort Dunlop by Urban Splash represents a brave and imaginative transformation of this massive structure in a truly sustainable way.”
The brown plaque, which embodies the award and will now be displayed at the entrance of the building, was presented to Nathan Cornish, the director at Urban Splash Midlands and the South West.
“We are delighted Fort Dunlop has been recognised by the Civic Society,” said Mr Cornish.
“We are extremely proud of all that we have achieved here and now it’s great to be acknowledged for what we have done at Fort Dunlop, which truly is one of the city’s iconic landmarks.”
Fort Dunlop was originally designed in the 1920s by Sidney Scott and WW Gibbings as a car tyre warehouse.
Branded Fort Dunlop, the regeneration has retained and built upon the essence of the original building, which is now converted into a 350,000 sq ft of space, including office, retail, bars and restaurants and a 100 bedroom hotel.
Those making the award particularly liked the many contemporary adaptations to the original building including:
* the industrial styled circular light driven through the centre of the building immediately above the main reception desk;
* the setting back of the glazing of the external elevations to produce contemporary office interiors as well as solar shading and access for servicing and cleaning;
* the use of the vast flat roof – available to the buildings users for barbecues and lunchtime relaxation
* the clarity of the circulation around the building, the service core and unusual toilet design.
“The success of this project is brought about through a winning combination of an enlightened client employing a brilliant architect to develop an imaginative brief for a great building on a landmark site,” added Mr Lister. “It is a totally successful marriage of the historic and the modern in a tough but stylish industrial aesthetic that should preserve this architectural gem for future generations.”