Project Title: Knowledge Hub Urban Strategy
Location: Aston/Eastside, Birmingham
Partners: Birmingham City University, Node Urban Design
Project Type: Consultation, Design Strategy/Feasibility
Prof. Cliff Allen, Vice-Chancellor of BCU commissioned the School of Architecture and Design to work up a masterplan design and strategy for the University Quarter, a loose district in Eastside containing several HE and public institutions.
We set up a collaborative design process with Node Urban Design group and MArch students, bringing their expertise alongside the research capabilities the school undertakes in its academic setting. The exchange resulted in the ‘Knowledge Hub’ – a campus where the masterplan is devised as an urban test bed for new ideas under themes of innovation, health & wellbeing, culture and enterprise.
The plan proposes 7 public squares that activate the streets, connect key spaces together, encouraging a night time economy and opportunities for students and graduates to incubate new ventures in distinctive yellow market stalls throughout. The strategy builds on themes established by the Birmingham Production Space and incorporates the impact of this cultural infrastructure on the layout of the public realm and overspill of creative activity that will occur beyond the building.
The proposal was part of Birmingham City Council’s MIPIM delegation in April 2016 and was featured in the Birmingham Post.
The project won the practice award and public vote at the National Urban Design Awards 2017.