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Construction & regeneration
24 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - November 2019

Bank Tower Two is complete with just the fitout of the ground level retail spaces to go. A dull misty day for these photos but some interesting perspectives and angles.

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two - November 2019





Bank Tower Two is complete with just the fitout of the ground level retail spaces to go. A dull misty day for these photos but some interesting perspectives and angles.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Modern Architecture
21 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Central Square, Brindleyplace: Westside's central hub for events

Development of Central Square in Brindleyplace took place in the 1990s. In the centre is the Brindleyplace Cafe which is a Costa Coffee. One building looks like it escaped from Venice and that's Three Brindleyplace. Four Brindleyplace is now home to Caffe Nero and BANK (a restaurant not a bank). Opposite is Two Brindleyplace. Five Brindleyplace finishes off the square.

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Central Square, Brindleyplace: Westside's central hub for events





Development of Central Square in Brindleyplace took place in the 1990s. In the centre is the Brindleyplace Cafe which is a Costa Coffee. One building looks like it escaped from Venice and that's Three Brindleyplace. Four Brindleyplace is now home to Caffe Nero and BANK (a restaurant not a bank). Opposite is Two Brindleyplace. Five Brindleyplace finishes off the square.


Lets have a look around Central Square, Brindleyplace. First with my earliest photos from May 2009.

Costa Coffee based in the Brindleyplace Cafe or Central Cafe. I have been here several times over the years. Although it's more convenient now to go to the Costa at Arena Birmingham (it's bigger). This view looking towards Six Brindleyplace (to the left) and Five Brindleyplace (to the right).

Looking towards Two Brindleyplace. Near there is the water fountain jets. There is a path in the middle that goes down the steps. The building was completed in 1997. At one point it was the offices of Lloyds TSB (now just Lloyds Bank).

Now Birmingham's very own escaped from Venice buildings. Three Brindleyplace, which was completed in 1998. It faces the canalside and is to the right of the National Sealife Centre. In recent years restaurant space has been opened up on the ground floor.

Five Brindleyplace is seen to the right of Six Brindleyplace and the Costa Coffee Cafe. It was completed in 1996. It was offices of BT. But in recent years has been refurbished into offices for Deutsche Bank (who used to be in One Brindleyplace (that has been taken over by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games).

View of the Aqueduct sculpture by Miles Davies seen in November 2009. It was unveiled in 1995. Four Brindleyplace seen behind was completed in 1999. BANK the restaurant was in Central Square 10 years ago like it is now. I think an estate agents was where Caffe Nero is now (on the left). I regularly go to that Caffe Nero (as with others around the City and Solihull).

The water fountain jets. Walk down the path in the middle for safety reasons. Kids may want to play in the water. Sometimes it is turned off. Between Two and Three Brindleyplace. Seen in May 2009.

Now a look at some of the events held here over the years.

4 Squares Weekender

Held over the weekend of the 6th to 8th September 2013. Co-inciding with the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. They also used Victoria Square, Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square. I saw it on the 7th September 2013.

This is Pif Paf.
The thrilling new aerial sculpture by Pif Paf, within a transforming mechanical world of action, metal and rope, presented by mac Birmingham.

Some musicians including a man with a guitar. Was still an estate agent at Four Brindleyplace at this time (no Caffe Nero until sometime in 2014).

One of the pink and white banners for 4 Squares Weekender.

Another view of Pif Paf.

Fine and Local Food Market

This was on the 30th May 2014. These market stalls near Two Brindleyplace.

These market stalls between the Costa Coffee Cafe and Three Brindleyplace. Looking towards Two Brindleyplace (on the left).

Brindleyplace Film Festival

This was held from the 7th to 13th July 2014. On Saturday the 12th July 2014 they were showing Toy Story 2 in Central Square.

The crowd of people enjoying the movie in the summer sunshine, as I headed for a coffee at Caffe Nero in Four Brindleyplace. They could be in Venice but Three Brindleyplace is in Birmingham. The Waters Edge on the right leads towards the canal and The ICC.

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

It was an art trail of painted owls across the city. Was a pair in Central Square from July 2015 for a 10 week period over the summer. (the old The Big Hoot website is no longer online).

This one was called You Can Call Me Owl by the artist Stephen McKay and the sponsor was Brindleyplace. Seen in July 2015. It looked like a red phone box. Seen close to Two Brindleyplace.

This owl that resembled the IKON Gallery was outside of Five Brindleyplace. The Oozells Owl by the artist Jodie Silverman and the sponsor was Deutsche Bank (outside of their new home from 2014). See also my IKON Gallery post.

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017

Another public art trail around Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Dudley. But this time painted bears. A 10 week trail over the summer from July 2017. Their website has unfortunately been taken over by something that is nothing to do with the trail.

Bearlock was by the artist Lee O'Brien and the sponsor was Deustche Bank. Seen outside of Five Brindleyplace. Based upon Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Seen in July 2017.

Bear'indleyplace was by the artist Jennifer Shufflebottom and the sponsor was Brindleyplace. Was close to Two Brindleyplace.

Christmas 2016

Seen in December 2016 was Santa's Christmas Boot. A bit like one of those Magical Lantern things that was at the Botanical Gardens at the time.

Seems to me like Brindleyplace only put's up teir Christmas tree in early December, like his one in December 2016. looking towards Caffe Nero and Four Brindleyplace. You wont find a Christmas tree here in November (unlike other parts of the City Centre).

Amazon Treasure Truck

This was seen in February 2018. Seen parked close to Three Brindleyplace. Over 2018 I kept seeing it return to the City Centre multiple times. Sometimes in Victoria Square, sometimes at the Bullring.

The front side of the Amazon Treasure Truck near Costa Coffee and Five Brindleyplace.

This view towards Four Brindleyplace and Caffe Nero. The occasion for this visit was Valentines Day.

Forget me not

This was during April 2018. Got these views from the Brindleyplace Car Park. There for the second year from the 2nd to 8th April 2018.

2000 wrought iron flowers symbolises a special person who is no longer with us. Views from the car park were a bit awkward to get.

Bit harder to get a decent view from the square itself. I'm not sure if it returned here for a third year in 2019 or not. Didn't hear anything about it this time around.

Fast & Furious

This was seen in Central Square during April 2018. Promoting Fast & Furious Live which was going to be at Arena Birmingham on the 20th, 21st and 22nd April 2018 (last year).

Various revved up and modded cars were parked in the square. We now have Fast & Furious 9 to await in cinemas in 2020 (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw came out in August 2019).

The Fast & Furious Live lorry parked near BANK at Four Brindleyplace.

Brindley The Place

This was a temporary renaming of Brindleyplace as Brindley The Place during April 2019 (these signs have gone now). This was on Three Brindleyplace or Three Brindley The Place.

This was at Four Brindleyplace. Or Four Brindley The Place.

Welcome to Brindley The Place. This large banner was down Six Brindleyplace or Six Brindley The Place.

More Central Square photos here Brindleyplace, Central Square, Birmingham. Including some small dinosaurs and Oompa loompas.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
History & heritage
19 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

National Trust properties around the Midlands (Spring and Summer 2019)

On my National Trust membership card, been to many National Trust properties around the shire counties in the spring and summer of 2019. I was thinking about doing a post on the Cotswolds properties I went to, but here will stick to the Midlands (for now). Croome Court in Worcestershire. Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire. Farnborough Hall in Warwickshire. Berrington Hall in Herefordshire.

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National Trust properties around the Midlands (Spring and Summer 2019)





On my National Trust membership card, been to many National Trust properties around the shire counties in the spring and summer of 2019. I was thinking about doing a post on the Cotswolds properties I went to, but here will stick to the Midlands (for now). Croome Court in Worcestershire. Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire. Farnborough Hall in Warwickshire. Berrington Hall in Herefordshire.


Previous National Trust posts here: 

Croome Court

A visit to Croome Court during April 2019. This visit was near the end of the month. Located not far from Pershore in south Worcestershire at Croome D'Abitot. Croome Court is a mid-18th-century Neo-Palladian mansion. It is surrounded by parkland designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown for the 6th Earl of Coventry. Some of the rooms were designed by Robert Adam. The house was built in 1751 - 52.

A look at some of the rooms inside. This was the Long Gallery. Most of the fixtures and fittings were sold in the 1940s, so most rooms are now used for temporary exhibitions. At the time was no exhibition in this room, but one was scheduled called "Can't see the trees for the wood". The interiors were done in about 1760.

This is The Golden Box in the Dining Room at Croome Court. There was A stunning display of Croome's porcelain by artist Bouke de Vries.

Back outside, and now on the path to the Chinese Bridge. Would soon cross over the Croome River.

Lakeside view of Croome Court. National Trust deckchairs to the right where you can sit and relax near the lake. Also an urn to the left of the deckchairs.

Distance from Birmingham: about 36 miles via the M5. Journey time in a car about 54 minutes. Postcode for SatNav: WR8 9DW. Rebecca Road, High Green.

Canons Ashby

On the May Day Bank Holiday Monday in early May 2019, we went to Canons Ashby House in Northamptonshire. It is a Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house located in the village of Canons Ashby. About 11 miles south of the town of Daventry. It has been owned by the National Trust since 1981, who have since restored it and done up the gardens. The house dates to the mid 16th century. It was the home of the Dryden family for many centuries.

A look inside Canons Ashby House. Photography was fine, as long as without a tripod or flash. The book room or Library. A pair of globes sitting on tables near the desk in the middle of the room.

This room was the Servants' Hall. With a long table and chairs in the middle. One of the rooms on the landing as we headed back downstairs.

Now back outside in the gardens. From the Top Terrace. Stunning flowerbeds with a multitude of colours. Spring is the perfect time to see colourful displays like this. May have been tulips out at that time of the year.

Further out in the gardens. Now on the Mulberry Lawn. The house having originally been built around 1550, was extended in 1590. It was embelished in 1632. The south front was remodelled in 1708 to 1710. The west range to the Green Court with the entrane dates to 1840.

Distance from Birmingham: about 61 miles via the M6 in a car. Should take just over an hour to get there. Postcode for SatNav: NN11 3SD. Canons Ashby, Daventry.

 

Farnborough Hall

A private residence, could not take interior photos, so only got the exteriors. Only open on Saturday and Wednesday afternoons on Bank Holidays. This visit on the way back home from Canons Ashby, during the early May Bank Holiday Monday back in May 2019. Farnborough Hall is a country house just within the border of Warwickshire, not far from Banbury (which is in Oxfordshire). It has been owned by the National Trust since 1960. Home of the Holbech family from 1684, although they first moved in around 1692. During WW1 and WW2 the hall was used as a auxiliary hospital. The main entrance into the hall was through that open door.

View of the drive a bit further back. The Clock Court is to the right. The hall is Grade I listed, while the Clock Court is Grade II listed. The way in from the car park is near the Clock Court. It was a Stableblock dating to the 18th century. Was remodelled in 1815 - 1816 by Henry Hakewill for William Holbech.

After a look around the house (I was unable to take photos inside as it was not allowed due to being a private residence). Went around the gardens having a look around.

From the lawn a bit further back looking at this side of the hall.

Further back after a walk down a path to a garden. Another look at the hall behind this field. Got to be careful of low lying tree branches, as I didn't see it one way, and hit my head (ouch). Even with a hat on (need a hard hat). Some places have low ceilings or door frames so have to be careful where I go on my travels.

Distance from Birmingham: about 48 miles along the M40 in a car. Journey would take around 52 minutes. From Canons Ashby it was about 13 miles along the A423, a journey time in the car of 26 minutes. Postcode for SatNav: . .

 

Berrington Hall

In an August 2019 visit to Berrington Hall. It is a  country house located about 3 miles north of  Leominster in Herefordshire. There was scaffolding on part of the hall due to the on going work to restore the dome. So when you head up the main staircase inside the hall, you see the scaffolding and wraps. Some light fittings had to be taken down at the time. It is a neoclassical country house building that Henry Holland designed in 1778-81 for Thomas Harley.

Heading to the main entrance for a look around the hall, through the big door, up the steps behind the four columns. Scaffolding to the right. Berrington features Capability Brown's last landscape design. You can head down the field through gates past sheep to the Berrington Hall. Best to do that after you have had a look around the hall first. Berrington has been in possession of the Cornewall family since 1386, but was taken over by the Harley family in 1775 who lived here for 95 years. In 1901 a Manchester businessman, Frederick Cawley MP, later Baron Cawley, purchased the estate. In 1957, the 3rd Lord Cawley transferred it to the Treasury, who in turn passed it onto the National Trust. Lady Cawley was allowed to live here until her death in 1978. A Grade I listed building since 1959.

A look around the interior of the hall. This was in the Library. To the left of the fireplace was a chessboard.

This is the Drawing Room. Chairs around the wall near a fireplace with a couple of mirrors in the room.

Back outside into the Courtyard. There was a tea room to the right and I think if I recall correctly the gift shop was to the left. Through the entrance way straight ahead was a former stables. One of which where you could buy an ice cream, or get a coffee. We later went to the Old Servants' Hall tea room (in the building to the right) down the basement for a coffee and slice of cake. After that, got an ice cream from the Stables cafe.

Distance from Birmingham: about 46 miles in the car taking 1 and a half hours via the A456. Postcode for the SatNav: . Leominster.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - November 2019

Two Chamberlain Square currently offers some great reflections of the Museum and Art Gallery, the Joseph Chamberlain Monument and the Council House while we wait for the new renovated Chamberlain Square to open. All these taken from the entrance to the Museum.

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The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - November 2019





Two Chamberlain Square currently offers some great reflections of the Museum and Art Gallery, the Joseph Chamberlain Monument and the Council House while we wait for the new renovated Chamberlain Square to open. All these taken from the entrance to the Museum.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
Modern Architecture
23 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

From the Oozells Street Boarding School to the IKON Gallery

Located on Oozells Street in what is now Oozells Square in Brindleyplace,Birmingham is the IKON Gallery. It was originally built in 1877 as the Oozells Street Boarding School designed by the famed architect John Henry Chamberlain. By 1981 it was used by Birmingham City Council as Furniture Stores. Was converted into the IKON Gallery in 1997 by Levitt Bernstein.

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From the Oozells Street Boarding School to the IKON Gallery





Located on Oozells Street in what is now Oozells Square in Brindleyplace,Birmingham is the IKON Gallery. It was originally built in 1877 as the Oozells Street Boarding School designed by the famed architect John Henry Chamberlain. By 1981 it was used by Birmingham City Council as Furniture Stores. Was converted into the IKON Gallery in 1997 by Levitt Bernstein.


IKON Gallery

(Information below from Wikipedia)

The IKON Gallery was founded in 1965, but only moved to it's present location in 1997. It was founded by four artists from the Birmingham School of Art, David Prentice, Sylvani Merilion, Jesse Bruton and Robert Groves. Originally located in the 1960s Bull Ring shopping centre. By 1978 they had moved to a former carpet shop on John Bright Street near the Alexandra Theatre. The gallery moved to the former Oozells Street Board School in 1997 where they remain to this day. The refurbishment work was designed by Levitt Bernstein.

It is a Grade II listed building now listed as the The Ikon Gallery and Ikon Cafe. But when it was originally listed in 1981, it was the Furniture Stores Of City Of Birmingham Education Department. The listing was last amended in 2011. It was built in 1878 for the Birmingham School Board by Chamberlain and Martin and altered by the same practice in 1898. Paul Clarke of Levitt Bernstein converted it to it's current use in 1997.

 

The following views from Oozells Square of the IKON Gallery taken during May 2009.

These were mobile shots as I think that my then compact camera had run out of battery.

IKON sign from the side. Looking towards Jurys Inn on Broad Street.

First look at the main entrance with the IKON sign. Did not go inside at this time.

I was trying different modes out on my then phone camera, so here I did a black and white monochrome version. Could be a photo from the latre 19th century if it wasn't for the modern building behind!

By June 2009 I had a new bridge camera (after having an issue with my old compact camera in May 2009). So amongst other things got new photos of the IKON Gallery from Oozells Square.

Side or close up view with the rebuilt tower. The original tower was demolished in the 1960s, and in the late 1990s rebuilt and conversion a new tower was built to the original design. Further back it is hard to tell that it is relatively new!

Ahead of a work 25th anniversary do in November 2010, got new photos including this glass lift tower.

You can only really see it from the outside from this service path from Oozells Square to the Water's Edge.

The next time I would see the glass lift shaft would be inside during my works party (almost 9 years ago now).

Close up look at the IKON sign as I entered for the first time during late November 2010, for my works 25th party.

A look at the lift. There is two levels, Level 1 and Level 2 that have exhibitions on. If you go in the lift, it makes a noise, "na na naa naaa naaaa naaaaaa" etc (it is best if you use the lift yourself, also I've not videoed the lift sound). I most recently used the lift after visiting the Barry Flanagan exhibition. Barry Flanagan bronze sculptures at the IKON Gallery.

The Victorian interiors preserved with the late 1990s lift shaft and glass staircase.

Modern metal tubes connect to the Victorian brick and stonework.

Pretty much the same when you turn slightly to the right. This I think was from Level 2.

Some of the artworks I saw probably on Level 2 during late November 2010.

No idea who the artist's was or what this exhibition was about though.

Lots of metal circles inside of circles.

Perhaps something to do with sound and air?

Skipping ahead to July 2015 when The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 was on. Here in Oozells Square outside of the IKON Gallery was: Midnight Moths by the artist: Alyn Smith, it was sponsored by: Harrow Green.

This owl sculpture was in Central Square, Brindleyplace outside of Five Brindleyplace. It was offices of BT, but later  Deutsche Bank. The Oozells Owl was by the artist: Jodie Silverman, and the sponsor was of course Deutsche Bank.

Back to outside of the IKON Gallery in Oozells Square during July 2017. The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017 was on with a bear trail. The Ink Detective was by the artist: Mr A Singh and the sponsor was Deloitte.

There is a Barry Flanagan bronze sculpture of a sitting hare outside in Oozells Square. Seen here during September 2019. At that time wasn't sure of going into the IKON Gallery, also had a long bus journey and walk, so left it for another week.

One of the Barry Flanagan hare sculptures seen inside of the IKON Gallery during early October 2019. For more photos, the link to the post is further up. Or see them via this search Barry Flanagan.

During my most recent visit to the IKON Gallery earlier in October 2019, after seeing the Barry Flanagan exhibition (link further up this post), went back down the glass lift (for the first time in almost 9 years). Saw this modern area with a dartboard. Somewhere to sit in the foyer, near the shop. There is a cafe to the far left of here (I have never been). It is now home to Yorks Cafe. They erroneously have the date 1847 for when the school was built (it was actually around 1877 or 1878).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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