General - - 103 Colmore Row - Rooftop, 2015. | High Stuff | 28DaysLater.co.uk

General - 103 Colmore Row - Rooftop, 2015.


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Colmore Row Rooftop, 2015 Birmingham’s highest office building.

103 Colmore Row, formerly known as National Westminster House, was a building on Colmore Row, Birmingham, England. The original building was designed by John Madin and was completed in October 1975 as offices and a banking hall for National Westminster Bank. After National Westminster Bank vacated the building it passed through several ownerships but failed to lease its offices. In 2008 a plan by then owners British Land to demolish the tower and replace with a taller modern equivalent was approved.
This plan never progressed and the building passed to the developer Sterling Property Ventures, who successfully applied to have the building demolished and a new tower constructed in 2015. Demolition began in July 2015 and was completed in January 2017.
The original building was a 23-storey structure with entrances on Colmore Row and Newhall Street. Designed by John Madin, it is of the Brutalist style, contrasting the traditional Victorian architectural styles in the immediate area. Although, the pre-cast concrete panels on the exterior, which were common on commercial buildings of the time, rather than in-situ concrete did make the building differ from classic Brutalism.
Designs for the building were first publicised in 1964 and it was remarked that it had drawn inspiration from the University of Pittsburgh by Louis Kahn. The designs showed a two-storey banking hall with a rectangular tower with horizontal ribbon windows. It also showed a service tower facing on to Newhall Street. This design differed significantly to the one that was approved by Birmingham City Council. The scheme also included a five-storey office block to the west of the site that was separated from it by an L-shaped courtyard. This office block was later reclad and increased to eight storeys in 1996-7 so that it reads as a separate building. The entire scheme was named the "Colmore Centre". The first phase of the scheme, which consisted of the construction of the banking hall, was completed in 1969. Construction of the tower began in 1973 and was completed three years later at a total cost of £3.5 million.

The building was constructed so that it was not solely occupied by the National Westminster Bank, but could also be let to tenants so that the bank could maximise the profitability of the site. However, the building proved difficult to let and was never fully occupied; the only major corporation to take office space in the tower was Eversheds. The building has been vacant since 2003.

There were numerous interesting features, including the original aluminium-cast banking hall doors, created and made by Henry Haig (1930 – 6 December 2007), who was an English abstract artist, painter and sculptor but notable predominantly for his stained glass work,[4] which consisted of an abstract triangle design based on the NatWest logo and were painted to resemble bronze. The banking hall itself had a coffered ceiling of plasterboard covered in gold leaf and Travertine marble floors and skirtings. The exterior was covered in abstract plaster murals and bronze matt ceramic tiles. The lift shaft and two ventilation towers were constructed using brick. The structure was constructed of precast concrete with waffle concrete floor slabs. There were four plant floors at the top of the tower and 100 car park spaces in a basement car park that became disused upon the discovery of asbestos. The office block was accessed via a stainless steel surround doorway on Newhall Street, where the land began to drop, exposing the ventilation grills for the basement. The entrance here appeared to be of a later date to the rest of the building. The office block had a service core at the centre of each floor, consisting of a large service duct, lavatories, four lift shafts and staircase. The lifts had stainless steel doors and the lift lobby had Travertine panelling on the walls. There was a kitchen on the twentieth floor which retained its original green panels and equipment, such as the dumbwaiter. The NatWest logo was originally attached to the west side of the building, although it was later removed leaving only the bracketing. It is believed that considerable efforts were made to reduce the cost of the tower's construction, which took place during a time when rising oil prices ended the development boom of the 1960s making an increasingly hostile economic climate. Examples of cost-cutting measures employed during the construction of the building include the use of plasterboard to mimic concrete on the banking hall's ceiling and the use of an alternative metal to bronze for the banking hall doors.

Upon completion, the building formed a prominent point on the Birmingham skyline and continued to do so until its demolition. It was also one of the most modern buildings and the tallest structure in the Colmore Row and Environs Conservation Area, and became a frequent perching point for the city centre's peregrine falcons. Architectural critic Andy Foster described the building as being "the most important Brutalist commercial building in the city, disastrous in context but with its own tremendous integrity







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I really miss this place was a nice brutalist building and interesting too glad you posted this respect i cant wait for the new building its gonna be really cool

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