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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With all of Birmingham's new towers finally coming to fruition, will Birmingham's tired BT Tower have a place on the city's skyline in the future?

Will it be an ugly distraction on the skyline, and detract from Birmingham's new gleaming skyscrapers?

Other cities manage without 500ft concrete communications beacons at their heart, should the BT Tower be replaced with a smart new building to complement the new structures about to be built?
 

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Kebab Licker
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I'd be very sad to see it go. It's been with Brum through good times and bad. Perhaps they'd be able to move all that stuff off the top whatever it is, onto another tall tower now we're looking like getting some. So it may make practical sense, but as I say, I wouldn't welcome it.
 

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Absolutely not. I love that tower. Incidentally, in the 80s my uncle was a BT engineer, and he and his colleague were on the front page of the Post or Mail after getting stuck up the top of it over night!

When we go into Brum, we come in via the Aston Expressway, then off at St Chads. Waiting at the island there to get across towards Snow Hill and seeing the BT Tower always makes my heart go a litle funny.

It is a symbol of Brum of years past - big, brash, ugly, and screaming '**** YOU' to all and sundry.

With all the spangly regeneration going on, I hope we don't make the mistake we always used to make and engage in the piecemeal destruction of what we had before, and that must surely include the BT Tower.

Oh, and preferably Nat West as well ;-)

EDIT and what's more, the BT tower is visible from absolutely miles around. I used to work in MK, and driving back up the M6, there's a bit just around Cov somewhere where you come over the brow of a hill and you get an awesome view of the city centre, absolutely miles away, with the BT Tower the focal point.
 

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actual gherkin
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I like it. But wouldn't mind if it was replaced with a new gleaming skyscraper... for now it balances the skyline :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you think though that it has always been the 'poor relation' to the BT Tower in London? These concrete structures seem to be built in the countryside, are they suitable for our city centres? (there is one you can see from the M6 near Stafford & one just outside Manchester too.)
 

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pauliewalnuts said:
EDIT and what's more, the BT tower is visible from absolutely miles around. I used to work in MK, and driving back up the M6, there's a bit just around Cov somewhere where you come over the brow of a hill and you get an awesome view of the city centre, absolutely miles away, with the BT Tower the focal point.
That's the big hill just after Corley services - you can see the planes descending to BHX from there too :)

I dunno, first Alstom, then Rover, HP Sauce and now BT Tower... ;)

A big amphatic NO - the BT Tower should stay. She will have other towers around the city centre smaller than her, but she is a lone tall among the Jewellery Quarter and unlikely to ever get a tall neighbour, so I want her to stay - she balances the skyline out nicely :)

And besides, where would the falcons/kestrels live?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
But Pauli, when the new towers are in place, it won't be screaming anything ..... more of a whimper, may be?
 

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FLD said:
But Pauli, when the new towers are in place, it won't be screaming anything ..... more of a whimper, may be?
As Bio said, though, she gives the skyline balance.

And let's not forget, she is 152m, that is a pretty large building. We don't actually have anything planned (at the moment) which is taller than that - although that is obviously going to change soon.

BT Tower might not be the prettiest thing to look at, but I'd say it is another of the buildings we have that make our city centre so distinctive - not of the architectural merit of Selfridges, obv, or even the Rotunda, but distinctive nonetheless.

I reckon we'll see a plethora of Manchester style tall slabs in provincial cities over the next 10 years, so having distinctive buildings is surely something to hold on to?
 

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Mixed emotions really: she was an iconic building for her time and still makes a significant mark on the landscape. But I also think its time for something new & taller but perhaps located in the same kind of area as Betty.

If Birmingham has ambitions to have 150m+ towers in the future will it not be the case that one problem could be that anything taller than Betty will "block" telecommunication transmissions or at least cause severe break-up to & from the BT tower? If this is the case then surely a much taller replacement would make perfect sense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can understand people being attached to it, but has it served it's purpose? Will it be needed in 10 years time? What else can you do with this sort of structure if BT finally decide to 'pull the plug' on it in the future? Should it just be left as a 1960's telecommunications monument, or should Birmingham grasp it's motto by the horns & move "Forward"?
 

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Wouldn't it be possible to build around the section of the Birmingham BT Tower below the communication dishes with offices / apartments attached to the tower as this could potentially give this building a new lease of life and be a money earner for BT as well as keep this tower for communications into the future?
 

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Kebab Licker
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Or transform it into a 150m vertical drop ride.

I reckon if it's not used anymore, they should put some imagination into it, and do something cool with it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Val Verde said:
Wouldn't it be possible to build around the section of the Birmingham BT Tower below the communication dishes with offices / apartments attached to the tower as this could potentially give this building a new lease of life and be a money earner for BT as well as keep this tower for communications into the future?
The main structure probably wasn't designed to take any more extrernal weight. The only commercial use for the tower could be a restaurant or night club on the top 3 sections that hold the communication and microwave dishes.
 

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FLD said:
The main structure probably wasn't designed to take any more extrernal weight. The only commercial use for the tower could be a restaurant or night club on the top 3 sections that hold the communication and microwave dishes.
ACTUALLY I KNOW FOR A FACT THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

The birmingham BT tower (you may notice) is not like other bt tower, instead of being roud, it is square, and from what i heard from my father (who used to eb a draftsman and used to work in the circles of people who developed these things) the core was built square esp to accomadate such extensions..... even down to where the balconies are, these where actually design so that if lift shafts could be fitted and floors built around it.....

however, whether id want this to eb the casee is another thing.

i do feel you could make it a lot more inviting, interesting....mabye give it a face facade like in lon, and light it up as a real building.....

i personaly love it....and woudl hate it to go.....but also, a semi-solid concrete core will be on bugger to demolish! this was built to last (nuclear atacks)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You could do something with it if that is the case ..... nothing is impossible. When I was in Cologne last month I noticed they have turned an old water tower into a hotel (Hotel im Wasserturm).
 

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FLD said:
How could anyone be so mean as to threaten her :cry:

BUT - good idea Woody. If she has past her useful life at some point, then she could be turned into the central core of a taller, wider building, or the lift/stair core of a remote building with walkways connecting it, Trellick Tower stylee (but nicer).

But she ain't going anywhere yet - BT still use her so we're OK :eek:kay:
 

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SACRILEGE! - I'm getting in touch with English Heritage asap to get it spot-listed! - Well, maybe not; but it is something of an Icon & I too would be sad to see it go. I do think it's elegant in its own way (esp the new colours & when lit at night). To me having the satellites on top is more common-sensical than London's - they form a type of crown to the city centre. I've argued before that anything built taller than the BT tower would make it visually (& practically?) redundant - part of my objection to Arena Central is on this basis (- the other being AC is a lumpen mass unsuited to the scale of its surroundings). In this regard i'm no size-queen (ah hum) - so some well-designed 30-40 storey are preferable, thus in-keeping with the height of BT, which at least adds variety to the skyline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There ain't gonna be a 'BT' in 10 years time, not in the form we know it today anyway!
 
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