Midlands hat-trick for Liverpool architects

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    An architectural practice from Liverpool is increasing its profile in the Midlands after winning three major contracts that will help transform the face of Britain’s biggest provincial city.Two of the tasks involve facelifts for two vacant 1960s buildings that for some years have blighted the city centre. And the crowning glory is creating a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill on the 25th floor of the brand-new building, The Cube. The restaurant forms part of a £10m hotel and luxury health spa.

    The biggest project of the three involves a £30m investment to transform Birmingham’s Cumberland House in city centre Broad Street into a 285-bed hotel.

    Built as a speculative office tower in the 1960s it was for some time used as council offices before being vacated seven years ago.

    The building is being given a new facia and a complete internal refit and will open in the summer of 2012 as a new Hampton by Hilton Hotel. The client is Birmingham-based developers, Office Villages Ltd, with contractors, Stockport-based Multibuild, already on site.

    The development is taking advantage of a government scheme, known as BPRA, or Business Premises Renovation Allowance. It provides the incentive of tax breaks for the conversion of tired, vacant buildings. The incentive scheme makes the project viable, according to Adam Hall, Managing Director of Falconer Chester Hall(Architects).

    BPRA is also being used in the planned conversion of another Birmingham city centre building, Snow Hill Plaza. Standing at the corner of Snow Hill and St Chads. The scheme will see the creation of a 224-bedroom Holiday Inn Express, with a new-build conference and banqueting suite added to the refurbished Snow Hill Plaza.

    The practise is also creating a stunning Indigo Hotel on the top three floors of the iconic world-class Cube, a new building close to New Street Station and the Mailbox Building. This architectural practice is also working on a health spa in the basement of the The Cube, and the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill on the 25th floor.

    The Snow Hill scheme is a development by Sanguine Hospitality and Bruntwood, whilst the hotel, restaurant and health spa at The Cube is a Sanguine Hospitality development. Sanguine will also be operating the Hampton by Hilton hotel at the Broad Street development.

    Daniel Fountain / 28.02.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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