Last time I heard they were def. going to keep the Victorian front. Just suprised it hasn't been burnt down, in mysterious circumstances, you know, like the other ones.Any news on the Armouries and unity house opp. They really need to keep the old frontage on unity house development.
Not a million miles away from the Economist BuildingThe National Westminster Bank development by the John Madin Design Group, 1973-4. The most important Brutalist commercial building in the city, disastrous in context but with its own tremendous integrity. Low banking hall to the corner of Newhall Street, tower behind stepping up from sixteen to twenty-one storeys with horns on top, and originally a five-storey block to Colmore Row.
The first designs of 1964 show influence from Louis Kahn's University of Pittsburgh. The layout as built draws on the Smithsons' Economist development in St James's, London. Rough concrete aggregate and plum coloured Staffordshire bricks: industrial, romantic materials. Canted corners to the banking hall, the original metal doors with an abstract pattern of triangles.
The Colmore Row block re-clad and heightened to eight storeys in 1996-7 by the Seymour Harris Partnership, in an attempt, sponsored by city planners, to recreate the lost streetscape of Colmore Row. Well intentioned, but it makes nonsense of Madin's design.