Birmingham Serviced Office Property Wins Renaissance Award
Fort Dunlop – a 1920s landmark industrial building in Birmingham, best known for being the former Dunlop tyre factory – has been presented with the 2010 Renaissance Award.
The property, which offers conventional and serviced office space, was re-opened in 2006 having lain empty for over 20 years. It was originally constructed in 1917 for use as a tyre factory, and by the 1950s over 10,000 workers were employed there.
But by the 1980s the property was all but abandoned. Following a lengthy period of dis-use in which the enormous structure was used as an advertising board for passers-by on the M6, the property was saved by Urban Splash in 1999 when the company took on the mammoth project in conjunction with Advantage West Midlands.
Renovation work started in December 2004 with architects Hazel Rounding of shedkm and landscape designer Martha Schwartz Inc. By March 2005, the building had been stripped back to its shell, with all windows and poor structural features having been removed.
Work continued throughout the next 18 months, and upon completion, Fort Dunlop had the largest living grass roof in the UK – providing natural insulation and a wildlife reserve. The property was officially re-launched in December 2006, and today, it offers a mixed-use development with over 300,000 sq ft of office space, 45,000 sq ft of retail space, and a 100 bedroom Travelodge hotel.
Fort Dunlop is currently home to Service Birmingham, and provides the headquarters for Birmingham Post & Mail.
Part of the building is also available to rent as serviced office space, offering flexible terms and a unique opportunity for SMEs to occupy a historical building in one of the region’s most recognisable and cherished landmarks.
Following the multi-million pound transformation, the building has since been presented with Birmingham Civic Society’s 2010 Renaissance Award – an accolade that recognises restoration projects that can demonstrate successful renovation and sustainability.
“It’s a great example of Birmingham’s industrial architectural heritage but had been left redundant and neglected for over 20 years,” said Paul Lister, Chairman of the Civic Society’s planning committee, as reported on TheBusinessDesk.
“The conversion of Fort Dunlop by Urban Splash represents a brave and imaginative transformation of this massive structure in a truly sustainable way. The success of this project is brought about through a winning combination of an enlightened client employing a brilliant architect to develop an imaginative brief for a great building on a landmark site.”
He added: “It is a totally successful marriage of the historic and the modern in a tough but stylish industrial aesthetic that should preserve this architectural gem for future generations.”
Find out more about office space to rent in Birmingham’s Fort Dunlop property online at officebroker.com.
Images: Prestige Photography. Fort Dunlop, Urban Splash