Work surge predicted from China pact

Architects have predicted a work surge all thanks to a deal made between Birmingham City Council and Chinese developer, Country Garden.

The deal is set to bring new opportunities but may also carry risks, architects have said.

Earlier on in the month, Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy signed a joint statement of investment commitment with Country Garden aiming to bring forward new housing on large development sites. The area being described by the authority as being worth ‘up to £2 billion’.

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Duties and responsibilities of an architect

An architect is a trained individual who develops conceptual ideas for buildings and structures, then turn those concepts into the designs and plans that are used to guide the building process.

They are responsible for designing plans for a variety of building structures including homes, stores, churches and government buildings.

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Tips for Choosing an Architecture Firm

One of the most important parts of any building project is choosing the correct architect firm.

Ensuring that you have the right architect to design your building is essential. It is important that they understand the local planning rules and regulations and are up to date with the latest building regulations. If they don’t, regardless of how great their design is – if it cannot be built, your money will be wasted.

Before you search for prospective architecture firm, make sure you know and fully understand what you want from the space you are creating.

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How to Become an Architect

To become an architect, you will need a combination of education and internship experience.

You might need to complete an architecture degree and can then move onto a hands-on internship experience with a professional architectural firm.

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Architectural Trends for 2016

The architectural trends that are set to dominate the leap year are to be modern, high-tech and efficient.

The idea is to use simple concepts when designing buildings. Architects believe that designs are transitioning into modern styles of home as global trends seem to be gravitating towards homes with cleaner lines and a lot of open space.

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Birmingham’s Sky Bar in Park Regis Hotel to Open in Spring 2016

Birmingham’s new Sky Bar in Park Regis Hotel, at Auchinleck House, began to take shape in May this year.

Only now, the external of the building is complete but there is a delay with the opening set to be in time for Christmas.

The bar shall sit above the 15th-floor private dining area in the new hotel. It will hold seating for up to 250 people and it is due to open to the public in 2016.

Construction work has been extended following the hopes of it opening in October 2015. Colmore Tang Construction, building firm, have stated it is now expected to open in Spring 2016.

Managing director at Colmore Tang Construction, Andy Robinson, said: “The project schedule has been extended to incorporate extra features. There include changes to the size and scope of the fourth-floor reception and restaurant area which now takes up the entire podium area, plus changes to the extensive balcony area overlooking Broad Steet which will be the largest outdoor space of any hotel in the city.

These changes have been incorporated so that the hotel operator can take advantage of the food and beverage opportunities it anticipates from the 500 new apartments Colmore Tang is also creating around Five Ways Island.

All of the elements unaffected by the changes are ready for the finishing touches.

This addition to other places of interest and notable architecture in Birmingham, Park Regis Hotel’s Sky Garden is sure to impress!

Should Post-War Architecture Be Demolished?

There are many concrete buildings in Birmingham and across Britain.

The post-war architecture can be a hit and miss with some, and because of this there are discussions taking place across the UK over whether preserve the established architecture.

When the prospect of destroying any historical building comes about, this often leads to mixed strong opinions. Especially if the building(s) in question have been designed years following the second World War. Raw concrete buildings that were erected between the 60s and 70s have been brought up to face demolition.

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Grand Central – Birmingham New Street’s New Look

Recently, Grand Central, the revamped New Street Station in Birmingham opened, and it’s what everyone is raving on about.

The £750-million rejuvenation of Birmingham New Street, by Architecture firm AZPML, has been completed. Co-founder of the firm Alejandro Zaera-Polo said that the completed project ‘could have been much better.’

Grand Central is a vision of reflective stainless steel encasing the original 1960’s building, integrating a vast atrium in the middle. The steel incorporation was designed to reflect the trains pulling in and out of the station along with the surrounding cityscape while the atrium is covered in a roof made of clear ethylene tetrafluoroethylene plastic.

The new roof is perched on top of columns from the original station building to encase a public concourse and two floors of shopping, as well as an AZPML-designed John Lewis department store with a glazed facade.

However, the reopening of the station last week, Alejandro Zaera-Polo expressed that the result wasn’t as intended. There were open concerns regarding the detailing of girders and a walkway which was said to conflict with the original and recent structures.

Grand Central is just a small part of Birmingham’s Big City Plan from the late Clive Dutton. As regeneration director for the city, Clive also overlooked the development of Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham. The public library is home to a rooftop garden, overlooking parts of the city, a sunken amphitheatre as well as its infamous large, interlocking metal rings.

What are your thoughts on the architectural redevelopment of New Street Station, Grand Central?

Questions to ask an architect before hiring

Deciding on an architect to carry out a job is not a light decision.

You will be selecting someone who will be the mind behind the project, thus you will naturally want them to possess certain traits which you may want to enquire about prior to hiring them.

Below, are a selection of questions you may want to ask your prospective architects to help you decide if they are the right one.

What are the challenges and attractions of the job?

An architect might have an attractive portfolio and outstanding references, however, do not mistake this as an indicator of the approach they’ll take on your project. It is important to enquire about their vision for your project by asking questions such as:

What is currently working, and what requires improvement?

How will a remodel blend with the rest of the house?

What will be the challenges?

Asking these questions will help with building a good rapport with your architect and discovering if your personalities are compatible.

Do you have a signature style?

There are many architects that boast about their adaptability, which enables them to manipulate their style to fit the clients’ needs. There are, however, other architects that have a certain style that features in all of their designs, be it modernism, or reinterpretations of historic houses.

By discussing if the architect has a certain style, you should be able to decide whether it’s something you may want to incorporate into your project.

What project management services do you offer?

More often than not, architects are able to provide more than just the blueprints and design of a project.

Abacus architects offer a wide range of architectural services in order to meet the clients’ needs, such as planning, design and technical, and on-site services.

How do you charge?

Architects will often charge monthly, beginning as soon as they begin work. Although, the majority of the design work will happen prior to bringing in a contractor and knowing the total cost.

Abacus Architects offer unrivalled architect services in Birmingham which can be tailored to meet your needs.

The Big Hoot – the owl inspired by Birmingham architecture

Dotted about Birmingham are a few owls – 89 to be exact.

Each of the owls are a part of Birmingham’s high profile public art event, The Big Hoot, which is the brainchild of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and public arts specialist, Wild in Art.

A Malvern based artist, Rachel Blackwell, painted 1 of the 89 and was inspired by Birmingham architecture, its parks and the people featuring the iconic architectural structure that is the Library of Birmingham, amongst others.

The Library of Birmingham was opened over 2 years ago and can be found in Centenary Square in the city. It was one of the six buildings shortlisted for the awards of Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Birmingham architecture proves to be inspiring to the public.

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