Birmingham Markets Park

Client: CityPark4Brum

Status: concept

Principle Designer: Peter Culley

  • 1/ park in a market_ reusing existing structures for 'psychological continuity'

  • 1/ Site plan - Smithfield Markets Development Zone

  • 1/ Site plan - horticultural market footprint becomes park

  • 1/ Site plan - water frame as earlier moat reference

  • 1/ Site plan - green routes and hydrology strategy

  • 1/ Site plan - 'people streets' and plazas

  • 1/ Site plan - Birmingham's Spanish Steps

  • 1/ Site plan - all elements

  • 1/ park, markets and metro

  • 1/ diagrammatic land use proposal with the park at its heart

  • 1/ park in the wider river system - green space is lacking in the city centre

  • 1/ the approved city masterplan (L) and CityPark4Brum proposal (R) with green space as the driver

  • 1/ Pershore St carpark_ before

  • 1/ carpark to artpark_ after_ adaptive re-use

  • 1/ Market site between Birmingham Plateau level and River Rea valley floor

  • 1/ Opportunity for Birmingham's own 'Spanish Steps'

  • 1/ inside the horticultural market_ before

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Client: CityPark4Brum

Status: concept

As a counter-proposal to the approved Smithfield Masterplan, this approach responds both to client ‘CityPark4Brum’s desire for a significant green space in the heart of Birmingham, teamed with a recognition that the site’s nearly one thousand year history as the city’s market location should not be wiped away.

Existing buildings, as yet perhaps unremarkable to the general passer-by, are transformed to become the essence of the scheme, whilst the multiple-environment park strategy creates major green linkages across the city centre and beyond. The intriguing natural river system and constructed canal network in the centre of Birmingham in tandem - and a result of - the striking but somewhat hidden local topography, is taken into account to create a more sustainable and aesthetically-strong hydraulic story, including a reference to the moat that sat around Peter de Birmingham’s feudal compound in this very location.

This response asserts that a ‘tabula rasa’ approach is not appropriate, especially in a city that is still recovering from clean slate moves over several generations, and that existing structures and physical topographies are available to tell important stories when carefully adjusted.

Principle Designer: Peter Culley