Birmingham Office Refurbishment of Fort Dunlop

Fort Dunlop stood empty for 25 years until this landmark building, visible from junction 5 on the M6, underwent a massive redevelopment program. Originally designed by Sidney Scott and WW Gibbings in the 1920s as a car tyre warehouse, the building now provides 350,000 sq ft of space. This office refurbishment has a broad commercial offering – Fort Dunlop houses office and retail space, bars, restaurants and a 100 bedroom hotel.

The transformation was the result of a partnership between Advantage West Midlands and Urban Splash. Their work was recognised in 2010 by the Civic Society when the building was given the Renaissance Award; they were impressed by the “brave and imaginative transformation of [the] massive structure in a truly sustainable way.”

The contemporary adaptations include: a circular light driven through the centre of the building from the roof to above the main reception desk; the setting back of the glazing of the external elevations, producing modern office interiors and solar shading; use of the roof space as an informal meeting place; clarity of circulation around the building and the unusual toilet design.

Mr Lister of the Civic Society declared that “the success of this project is brought about through a winning combination of an enlightened client employing a brilliant architect to develop an imaginative brief for a great building on a landmark site. It is a totally successful marriage of the historic and the modern in a tough but stylish industrial aesthetic that should preserve this architectural gem for future generations.”