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I think Birmingham would be better off going down the Artistic city route rather than the 'build em high policy'.

The reason why the Selfridges building has been such as success is not because of its size but the artistic nature of the building. We should follow the example of Barcelona and build stunning buildings and let architects run riot with potential designs.

We all know that projects like Arena Central are always going to hit the stumbling block of height as the CAA will always put their nose in. This way we can have buildings we are proud of and try and win a realsitic contest of the beutifullest city in brum.

Its pretty congested in Brum city centre as it is without having loads of highrise buildings.

Would be interested in what you guys thought.

Dosti
 

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Kebab Licker
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Ideally we'd have a bit of both. It'd be great to get more unique, beautiful structures around the city (though we'd have to be careful not to turn into a freak show). The problem is we've got a Conservative council (*spit*); a council which, if we had them a few years ago, would have stopped Selfridges being built. you'd think they'd learn from this after the success it's had, but Tories never learn.

Also, you have to get people willing to spend the money. All these big companies building apartments and that are just interested in one thing: profit. It's cheaper to build bland square brick monstrosities, so that's all they want to build.

I think if they're making a profit from the city, they should contribute to it at the same time. But the bigger the company, the more tightarsed it is in my experience.
 

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ISAO OKANO
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It doesnt it has a Con-Lib Dem council. lLabour are still easyily the biggest single party.

it ended up with them becuase of iraq probabaly. it was possibly because of that that the vote rigging happened in muslim areas where they knew voter turn out would be low with natural labour voters staying at home. Im speculating- I haven't seen the figures to back it up.
 

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But the thing with Barcelona is that a lot of it's beauty has been because of history. Although Brum actually does have a lot of Victorian and older style buildings.

I also think it's a bit too late to change Birmingham's urban highrise and 'congestion' personality anyways.
 

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A mix of the two would be ideal.You are right Blunther as there were a couple of Tory councillors who said they wouldn't have approved the building the Selfridges building.More alarmingly,the comments were made after its resounding success!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Brummie Angeleno
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I agree with Philosopher - we should really encourage marketing of our terracotta buildings like the Magistrates Court and Central Hall (Q club). In fact these 2 plus the Childrens Hospital and St Chads Cath photographed from the right angle all form a series of spires that could be used as a great ad.
I don't think Whitby and Hemming are that backward in building design (I still don't like the idea of Labour not in control but let's get on) and hopefully their plan of the Mailbox extension Architects competition, might kick start other ideas around town.
 

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Nacho said:
... there were a couple of Tory councillors who said they wouldn't have approved the building the Selfridges building.More alarmingly,the comments were made after its resounding success!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Really?! That is very worrying.

I'm not that fussed about having a load of tall proposals (which is a good job really otherwise I'd be eternally depressed). I think Brum's biggest stumbling blocks are some of the views from ground level with grimy old buildings (look at the Priory Square area or some of the High Street) and roads dividing up areas of the city (the lovely lovely lovely St Paul's Square cut off from the city centre). So the developments that get me excited are the ones which are remodelling the ground level stuff in a big way like Eastside and so I'd rather see the thought go into how the buildings look to those stood next to them, and how they encourage people to interact with the areas around them; buildings that engage the people near to them. But we still do need a couple of big tall builds to keep the city looking and acting like a can-do 21st winner, not an also-ran or a place to rest on it's laurels. These would also inspire confidence that Brum is more than just a large provincial town and is a city capable of competing. So, in summary, a mix of both!
 

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Blunther said:
Ideally we'd have a bit of both. It'd be great to get more unique, beautiful structures around the city (though we'd have to be careful not to turn into a freak show). The problem is we've got a Conservative council (*spit*); a council which, if we had them a few years ago, would have stopped Selfridges being built. you'd think they'd learn from this after the success it's had, but Tories never learn.

Also, you have to get people willing to spend the money. All these big companies building apartments and that are just interested in one thing: profit. It's cheaper to build bland square brick monstrosities, so that's all they want to build.

I think if they're making a profit from the city, they should contribute to it at the same time. But the bigger the company, the more tightarsed it is in my experience.
thats why you need a council with some sort of artistic imagination otherwise the developers will get away with the least effort spent
 

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Scaramouche, Scaramouche,
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were the tories really against the selfridges building??? if so then that sums them up, already they have screwed the new libary, hopefullt they wont try and screw the two new MAKE buildings
 

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Morstoreys please, matey hemming and Whitby had no input in the mailbox's decision to hold a competition, Birmingham developments are following in the footsteps of Urban Splash and hopefully will become brums version of them

It remains to be seen if the Torys will allow the cube ? the jurys out

"I don't think Whitby and Hemming are that backward in building design (I still don't like the idea of Labour not in control but let's get on) and hopefully their plan of the Mailbox extension Architects competition, might kick start other ideas around town."
 

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Doyle said:
and roads dividing up areas of the city (the lovely lovely lovely St Paul's Square cut off from the city centre)
I was talking to a guy from KWB a while back about this. apparently there was a long term vision from the council to replace the footbridge which goes over Great Charles Street into there corner of a building with either a new one (which was going to be a competition) or to extend the tunnel section which would allow Church Steet to be a level pedestrian route (like Newhall Street) down into the jewellery quarter. Don't know what's going on with it a now but with the iminent replacement of Peat House and the eventual Ludgate proposals I can see this happening sooner rather than later.
 

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Dosti said:
I think Birmingham would be better off going down the Artistic city route rather than the 'build em high policy'.
Completely agree. I'd much prefer to see something shorter which had integrity and elegance and than a canary wharf box
 

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U475 Foxtrot said:
I was talking to a guy from KWB a while back about this. apparently there was a long term vision from the council to replace the footbridge which goes over Great Charles Street into there corner of a building with either a new one (which was going to be a competition) or to extend the tunnel section which would allow Church Steet to be a level pedestrian route (like Newhall Street) down into the jewellery quarter. Don't know what's going on with it a now but with the iminent replacement of Peat House and the eventual Ludgate proposals I can see this happening sooner rather than later.
I often thought that it would be a good idea to run the tunnel right through to the other side of St Chads. The little bit from the Snow Hill rail lines to the entrance to the Queensway tunnel is pointless and it's horrible to get in or out of the traffic on the A38 there at rush hour - and perhaps they could ease the sharp corner in the tunnel under St Chads QW at the same time - though my claim to fame is regularily negotiating it at 70 mph in a Skoda (!) - albeit at 6.30 in the morning!
 
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