Newhall Square is a project with history, both for Birmingham and Associated Architects. The new residential development is the second phase of a masterplan focused around the Whitmore-Arm, a former canal. The site includes elements of the Grade II listed Elkington Electroplating Works, which later became part of the Birmingham Science Museum. Phase one was delivered by developers RO St. Bernard and ourselves, and included office space and a hotel. After the site was acquired by Spitfire Homes we were retained to deliver the second part of the scheme, which will complete the proposed mix of leisure, commercial and residential uses.
Newhall Square sits within the city’s historic Jewellery Quarter, with the site opposite the former Assay Office. We were mindful of this context when developing the contemporary design aesthetic, choosing a controlled palette of masonry, glass and dark metal. Newhall Square also integrates three refurbished historic buildings, a new courtyard and large public square.
Street level will be bustling with activity thanks to retail and office space offerings, whilst the residential blocks will rise up to eight storeys across the site, maximising the developable area but remaining mindful of the setting. A water feature incorporating a shallow pool and fountain makes reference to the Whitmore-Arm, which was filled in during the 1950s.
Newhall Square will create 220 apartments and town houses minutes walk away from Birmingham’s major transport links and commercial district. Inset balconies will allow for views over the canal and a landscaped courtyard. A high emphasis was placed on quality public spaces and amenities to foster a sense of community. Car parking is provided at ground level, as well as public access to the canal side. Completing the Newhall Square masterplan will deliver the missing piece of a prime city centre location, creating an exciting and vibrant place to live and work.