‘Garish’ wedding cake building in Birmingham given green light

A multi-storey ‘wonky wedding cake’ building in Birmingham dubbed ‘garish’ by one councillor has been given the green light by the council.

Images of the new proposed building at Aston University. Credit: Hawkins\\Brown.
Images of the new proposed building at Aston University. Credit: Hawkins\\Brown.

Proposed by Aston University, the ‘landmark’ lantern-style building would be used for learning and office space, standing at ten storeys with a cafe on the ground floor.

There were mixed views from a public consultation on the plans, with some labelling the proposals as “stunning” while others compared them to “three car air filters stacked on the top of each other”.

However Councillor Gareth Moore, a Conservative councillor for Erdington, – while describing the plans as ‘garish’ – was also keen to praise the approach taken by the university.

“I’d just like to welcome the fact that we don’t have another box,” he said.

“We’ve got too many boxes in Birmingham so it’s nice to have something – it’s a bit garish, but it’s different, so that’s nice for the city.”

The University says that the construction will be part of its ‘most radical estates strategy for over 10 years’, with the new building one of the centrepieces of the redevelopment.

The site – known as Gosta Green – currently hosts the Tipping Triangles fountain by Angela Conner which is proposed to be moved to another part of the campus.

“The first significant step is a new landmark building of approximately 12,020sqm (GIA) that would provide centralised teaching and learning social spaces for the entire University community,” documents from today’s (Aug 5) meeting state.

“The proposed building seeks to reflect civic and landmark characteristics with an open, publicly accessible ground floor, which will for the first time, invite members of the public into the building to enjoy the facilities provided within, including a café at ground floor.”

Several organisations also backed the scheme, including the Civic Society, which concluded that the building would not cause significant harm to nearby listed buildings.

These are the former West Midlands Fire Station HQ at Lancaster Circus the former City of Birmingham Swimming Pool on Woodcock Street – now Aston University Sports Centre.

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