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Old October 5th, 2009, 12:10 AM   #1
SuttonBaggie
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Crocodile Works | Newtown | Comp.

Location: Birmingham
Category: Development
State Date: 01/03/2009
End Date: 01/09/2010

Key Facts:

  • 168 new homes
  • There will be a percentage of outright sale units to help with tenure change in the transformation of the Newtown area
  • 44 general needs units, 68 rent to home buy, 41 intermediate rent, 15 outright sale
  • £11.9m of investment from the Homes and Communities Agency and Urban Living – the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder for Birmingham and Sandwell – has just been agreed to bring forward this stalled project, creating more affordable homes for the area.
Summary:

The Crocodile Works project is located in the heart of Newtown close to the Newtown shopping area and was formally a number of industrial units dating back to the 19th Century, one of which was the start of Birmingham’s motor industry being the Wolseley factory.

Midland Heart with the help of Urban Living acquired all the buildings in 2005/06. Award winning architects Glenn Howells won a design competition with an innovative scheme which will help kick start the rejuvenation of the Newtown area and the North West Birmingham Pathfinder area. The project will consist of 42 three, four and five bed houses and 126 apartments which will be a mix of one, two and three bedrooms. Midland Heart will construct a percentage of properties for outright sale which will fund the development to provide a mixture of tenures enabling affordability to a much wider range of the local community.

All homes will be constructed, where possible, to the new Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, providing energy efficient, well insulate homes thus reducing fuel costs for occupiers of this new and exciting development.


Partners: HCA, Urban Living, Midland Heart
Architects: Glenn Howells Architects
Contractor: William Davis
Other: EA: EC Harris; Structural Engineers: Stewart Harris
Funders: HCA/ Urban Living/ Midland Heart
Value: £25m
MHL Contact: For general enquiries 0870 60 70 300 For sales enquiries 0800 44 55 67

http://www.midlandheart.org.uk/default.aspx?id=390888
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Old October 5th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #2
Bureau des etrangers
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i
haven't
got
a
clue
where
this
is
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Old October 5th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bureau des etrangers View Post
i

haven't
got
a
clue
where
this
is

As you leave Birmingham city centre along the A34 towards Walsall it is on the left behind the Newtown shopping centre. It is on the road which runs parallel to the A34. On the right is the Royal Mail sorting office.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #4
Erebus555
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I have a horrible feeling this already has a thread from many moons ago.....

Anyway, here are some renders that I have scaled down because they're mahoosive. Links to the high def ones where applicable are below their respective image.




http://www.midlandheart.org.uk/Displ...hx?image=54719


http://www.midlandheart.org.uk/Displ...hx?image=54720





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Old October 5th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erebus555 View Post
I have a horrible feeling this already has a thread from many moons ago.....

Anyway, here are some renders that I have scaled down because they're mahoosive. Links to the high def ones where applicable are below their respective image.




http://www.midlandheart.org.uk/Displ...hx?image=54719


http://www.midlandheart.org.uk/Displ...hx?image=54720





I think that covers it well there Erebus555. There are lots of little plots like this along New John Street West, Boulton Middleway and Icknield Street which would benefit from a development like this.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erebus555 View Post
I have a horrible feeling this already has a thread from many moons ago.....

]
We have, I posted a load of pics of the site when they were clearing it.

I can't find the thread tho' and can't be arsed to post them again. I've got a stinking headache.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fruit&nut View Post
We have, I posted a load of pics of the site when they were clearing it.

I can't find the thread tho' and can't be arsed to post them again. I've got a stinking headache.
I did have a look first before setting the post up but couldn't find anything.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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Indeed SB. I looked down the threads so that I could bump it up and see if some one could merge them but you're quite right. There's no sign of it!

PS - Wasn't having a go. My post came across as Mr Grumpy, but that wasn't the intention.

Last edited by fruit&nut; October 5th, 2009 at 11:11 PM.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #9
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I found them...I could be ***** after all. (Headaches easing!)

The frontage at Alma St.







The far end up Frankfort St (?)








Crocodile Works was an old Bayonet factory.......
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #10
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Hey this looks great! Can't wait to see how the old combines with the new.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erebus555 View Post
I have a horrible feeling this already has a thread from many moons ago.....

Anyway, here are some renders that I have scaled down because they're mahoosive. Links to the high def ones where applicable are below their respective image.

That is a really nasty looking development. Who would want a home in that far corner? People will be badly overlooked in those from neighbouring properties. Also, it really does look too much like Park Hill in Sheffield. The whole thing looks like a throw back to the 70s.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #12
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Corner plots are always difficult for that reason however i think you are a bit misguided in assuming this has such an influence - it has been 'put up with' in Centenary Plaza which has been a terrifically popular development (although i have no idea why).

As a whole this seems like a good mix of buildings, i really like the large semi-private communal space. I think given the size of it that it may be more popular and used than interior spaces usually are in new schemes as you can get further away from other people's apartments.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #13
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I like the crocodile attached the side of the building and thats it.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engels View Post
Corner plots are always difficult for that reason however i think you are a bit misguided in assuming this has such an influence - it has been 'put up with' in Centenary Plaza which has been a terrifically popular development (although i have no idea why).

As a whole this seems like a good mix of buildings, i really like the large semi-private communal space. I think given the size of it that it may be more popular and used than interior spaces usually are in new schemes as you can get further away from other people's apartments.
I am not misguided about anything. Building homes, such as those nasty corner plot ones, which have such a low level of amenity is a horrible idea. Just because some people will end up living in them (perhaps because they have no choice) is neither here nor there.

The whole "semi-private communal space" thing was done in the 60s and 70s, and it went down like a lead balloon. People want some defensible space that is their own, not a shitty communal wasteland full of cars and little bits of grass.

And the new buildings just look shit. It has been inspired by Park Hill in Sheffield.

This whole thing just stinks. Low quality homes and environments thrown up by greedy developers. Stick a load of benefit claimants in them and it is quite literally a 1960s housing scheme. I know we have a failing Labour government and economic problems, but I didn't realise that architecture and development was going back to the 1970s as well.

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Old October 6th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splendidineogh View Post
And the new buildings just look shit. It has been inspired by Park Hill in Sheffield.
Not too sure why you say it is inspired by Park Hill. Looking at renders for the Park Hill redevelopment scheme and comparing it with this, the only thing that looks similar is the colour! They have completely different forms, scales, massing and concepts.

Considering the developers and their reputation, they're not greedy by any stretch. They genuinely do build quality developments which are widely praised - and this is one of their most ambitious. Not only commissioning top architects for the job, they are willing to take on the potential added cost of retaining and renovating a disused industrial building as part of the scheme.

This is effectively a social housing scheme, you are right, as they are working for the community, one of the most deprived in the country. Considering how well used the local parks are as well, I can't see why you think this one will fail. The communal spaces at Park Hill are subject to being surrounded by enormous walls of deck-access flats. It was intimidating to walk through there in the knowledge that there could potentially be dozens of people staring at you. The scaling on this is much less intimidating - especially towards the lower rise elements of the building.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #16
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The prominent corner elevation is very nice, and the quality looks good overall.

This isn't a case of a greedy developer - it is partially funded by AWM.

Make no mistake it lies in one of the most run down and deserted areas of Brum and will be a very welcome addition.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KHvillan View Post
The prominent corner elevation is very nice, and the quality looks good overall.

This isn't a case of a greedy developer - it is partially funded by AWM.

Make no mistake it lies in one of the most run down and deserted areas of Brum and will be a very welcome addition.

here here...

I think there should be more faith put into building modern developments like this in otherwise forgotten parts of the city.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erebus555 View Post
Not too sure why you say it is inspired by Park Hill. Looking at renders for the Park Hill redevelopment scheme and comparing it with this, the only thing that looks similar is the colour! They have completely different forms, scales, massing and concepts.

They genuinely do build quality developments which are widely praised - and this is one of their most ambitious.
I wasn't comparing it to the Park Hill redevelopment scheme, I was comparing it to Park Hill as it was originally built. They look exactly the same; same colour and facades, same useless open spaces (in this case, full of cars and mean little strips of grass.)

You talk about "quality development"; I couldn't agree more. It is bad "quality development." Imagine living in the flat on the second or third floor in the depths of that far corner. Even the render gives away how over shadowed and grim it will be. Overshadowed and overlooked. Crowded and nasty.

This whole thing will look awful within 10 years of being built, and half the people living in it won't be happy with it.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #19
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This look absolutely great can't wait for this to happen!!
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #20
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Perhaps the inside angle could be facetted so that rather than being a 45 deg elbow, 2 x 112.5 deg angles can be used. In other words, take a line across the internal corner and make the curved part deeper.
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