Claridge Architects’ The Timber Yard scheme in Birmingham gets the go ahead

A major development in Birmingham’s Southside district providing high quality homes for young professionals has received planning approval. Designed by Claridge Architects for joint venture partners Apsley House Capital and Galliard Homes, The Timber Yard will be delivering 379 new homes less than 10 minutes walk from New Street Station.

To reinstate the city’s urban grain, Claridge ’s design involves opening up the 1.58 acre site, currently a disused car park, to create new public thoroughfares between its four boundary streets, complete with a landscaped courtyard garden and pocket parks. The transformation will create social interactions and architectural moments to enhance the area, just south of the Hippodrome and its neighbouring restaurants, bars and cafes.

Two carefully arranged L-shaped apartment buildings will hug the street edge, set around a central raised courtyard, giving homes dual aspects both onto the street and back over the newly created green spaces. The mixed-use scheme also includes a communal residential garden at first floor level, carefully curated perimeter commercial spaces at street level and underground parking.

The Timber Yard has been designed with the city’s new urban generation in mind, in response to both Birmingham’s shortage of accessible housing within the centre, and its need to retain key workers, young professionals, and graduates at this time of growth. As well as being the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe with more than 40% of its population found to be under the age of 25. It currently has more capital committed to its infrastructure projects than any other European city.

Claridge’s design approach takes its precedent from the area’s industrial past and combines classical architectural proportioning with contemporary design. A refined material palette of slate grey brick complemented by lighter acid-etched brick and precast concrete detailing is balanced by powder-coated metal framed windows and balustrades and warm oak timber in the entrance lobbies. While materiality delivers a strong aesthetic coherence, subtle variations in the elevations will lend the development variety and intrigue.

Marcus Claridge, Director at Claridge Architects, commented:

“We look forward to delivering high quality homes for young professionals in Birmingham’s centre. These will be set in green, landscaped parkland, with new public pocket parks and thoroughfares, lending architectural moments and interactions that help to enhance people’s lives. We believe carefully considered, quality built environments that incorporate the city’s robust local vernaculars can help Birmingham flourish at this time of investment and growth.”

Stephen Conway, executive chairman of Galliard Homes, said:

“We’re thrilled The Timber Yard is now one step closer to its groundbreaking. Birmingham offers great growth potential and with its lively cultural and social scene it’s the perfect place for young professionals looking for a new home.”

“The mixed-use scheme will combine Galliard Homes’ signature design aesthetic within the residences, plus new, green spaces providing quality homes to the Birmingham market.”

Robin Norstrom, director of Apsley House Capital, said:

“Birmingham is a city with a growing reputation on both the national and international stage. Public and private sector investment in commercial and residential development and major infrastructure projects, such as HS2 and the Metro extension, have created an environment that is attractive to investors, businesses and residents alike.”

“Apsley House Capital, together with our joint venture partner Galliard Homes, recognise the potential and opportunity that Birmingham represents, which is why we have committed to developing more than 2,000 homes in the city, including up to 800 apartments and townhouses at Soho Loop and a mix of residential units at the AE Harris site in the Jewellery Quarter.”

“Now we have achieved planning consent we are looking forward to delivering The Timber Yard as part of our Birmingham portfolio.”

Claridge were appointed architects on the scheme after Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital acquired the site, part of the Gooch Street Estate, in early 2017. The scheme was submitted for planning in October 2017. Work will commence immediately, with an estimated completion date of 2021.

Claridge is working on another major project in Birmingham for Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital as the appointed architects on the Soho Loop masterplan; a proposal for a major residential-led canal-side quarter with generous, landscaped green spaces and canal-side parks for the public, delivering new homes just a mile outside of the city centre.