Architects have entered a battle for a contract to design a new £1.5million public square in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Bosses have been flooded with designs by more than 100 architects from the UK, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Australia.
It is hoped the “golden square”, to replace the car park in front of the Big Peg office block in Vyse Street, will provide a meeting point and area to stage big events. It is one of the first new projects developed as part of Birmingham City Council’s Big City Plan aimed at transforming the area over 25 years.
An expert panel will whittle the bidders down to a shortlist of six, and each company will be asked to develop their design in detail and participate in community workshops, before a winner is chosen and final design agreed this year.
The panel includes Ruth Reed, president elect of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Andrew Taylor, founding partner of Patel Taylor Landscape Architecture practice and Professor Kathryn Moore, past president of the Landscape Institute.
Neville Summerfield, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I am delighted we have attracted such a response from applicants who want to work with us in turning our vision into reality. The Jewellery Quarter is a wonderful asset, with its development one of the key early priorities of the Big City Plan. The Golden Square will provide a centrepiece to a unique area, as important a component of the city’s development as New Street Station.”