high speed birmingham

M.A. ARCHITECTURE  | M.SC. URBANISM
URBAN DESIGN STUDIO | SUMMER 2019

Birmingham is transforming rapidly. New contemporary steel objects mix with the remnants of a city formerly dedicated to processing metal into about anything. Newest insert will soon be Curzon Street Station, a huge railway development, connecting Birmingham high speed to London, with an eye-catcher-terminal-building close to city center. The site of the future station is now a major downtown park, bordered by parts of the University Campus and Digbeth, an urban quarter just at the rim of turning into a new hotspot for students, arts, design, music and other cultural and social activities and events.

What are the consequences of such an insert? Which urban qualities should be established around it? What is your spatial and strategic proposal for high speed Birmingham’s future?

Studio Task
The urban design challenge this summer is Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK.

Birmingham is transforming rapidly. New eye-catcher-objects mix with the remnants of a city formerly dedicated to processing metal into about anything. In the late 60s heavy metal music was invented in Birmingham by bands like the Black Sabbath.

Newest insert will soon be Curzon Street Station, a huge railway development, connecting Birmingham high speed to London, with an eye-catcher-terminal-building close to city center.

The site of the future station is now the major downtown park, bordered by parts of the University Campus and Digbeth, an urban quarter just at the rim of turning into a new hotspot for students, arts, design, music and other cultural and social activities and events.

What are the consequences of such an insert? Which urban qualities should be established around it? What is your spatial and strategic proposal for high speed Birmingham’s future?

The first phase of the studio simulates the conditions of a classic urban design competition, resulting in a first design proposal in competition-style plans. These will be presented in Birmingham to colleagues of the landscape department of BCU. The second phase of the studio is all about adjusting and altering your design after the trip to Birmingham: Learning from Birmingham!

How to approach

  • analyze the wider area in terms of: connectivity, green belts & corridors, water structures, infrastructures, main and secondary uses, attraction points, character areas, building typologies
  • develop a strategic plan for the wider area, setting a focus point on one of the overarching topics as described in the previous pages
  • after studying the area in detail and on site, consider an area of further investigation which each group is going to focus on in order to the already investigated topic

We will read, analyse, discuss, explore, study, test and compare... to be able to create and define our own vision for Curzon Street Station precinct. The arrival of HS2 at Curzon Street station is a re-vival of former glory as well as a re-boost for completely new opportunities.

Schedule & Facts

24. April - KICKOFF
13.00 h R 2239

24. April - 21. May - PITCH: PHASE ONE
PINUP 1 - presentation of pitch results

27. - 31. May - FIELD TRIP
BIRMINGHAM + LONDON: site visit, Workshop BCU

1. June - 22. July - PHASE TWO
PINUP 2 - learning from Birmingham
PINUP 3 - going into detail

25. July - FINAL REVIEW
dates are subject to change

Studio Days: Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Studio Room: 2249
Language: English / German
Trip costs: ca. 350€