Associated Architects are excited to be part of the Curzon Wharf team. The £360 million development will rejuvenate this under-utilised site and become the catalyst for future growth in the area and beyond.
The net zero carbon agenda is very much at the heart of our ethos and Curzon Wharf marks the next logical step for the practice as well as underlining its pedigree in designing low-energy buildings, including the UK’s largest non-domestic Passivhaus facility.
Associated Architects are working with engineering consultancy Cundall, to take a whole building approach to achieve deep energy efficiency. The scheme will deliver an optimised thermal envelope in line with Passivhaus principles – super insulated walls, floor and roof, minimisation of thermal bridging, triple glazing, maximisation of daylight, LED lighting and SMART controls. This will enable fossil fuels to be eliminated from the site, with heat pumps satisfying all heat demands.
Richard Perry, Director of Associated Architects said,
“It is a pleasure to work with Woodbourne Group on this exciting and innovative project.
Curzon Wharf is a statement of intent regarding design quality and its vision for net zero carbon-ready, mixed-use development is a bold response to Birmingham City Council’s call to action on climate change.
These proposals will have a truly transformative impact, providing a powerful piece of sustainable architecture on a gateway site into the city centre and a new vibrant destination along the historic canal network.
Sky terraces, winter gardens and tree-lined piazzas will provide a substantial scheme of green urban infrastructure and external amenity, in line with the themes of Birmingham City Council’s ‘Our Future City Plan’.
We have worked closely with the Council to knit the scheme into the vision for Dartmouth Circus and the network of pedestrian routes, cycle paths, canals and public places.”
The site is laid out as a composition of sculptural forms rising in scale towards its northern peninsula onto Dartmouth Circus. On approach along the A38, Aston Expressway, the two towers offer their narrowest facades, referencing the proportions of the BT Tower further in the distance, as well as echoing the slender forms of the tall chimneys that once peppered the City’s skyline.
This 3-acre mixed-use development will include:
- Boulton Tower – 53 storeys, residential, 498 apartments
- Watt Tower – 41 storeys – student residential 732 flats
- Galton Skytree – 14 storey, co-living, 265 ‘best in class’ units
- Office/R&D and life sciences building – 9 storeys, 12,000sqm
The student accommodation responds to the change in demand brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a focus on mental health and collaboration, providing a student experience like no other. Amenity and retail spaces at ground floor will provide front doors and active frontage onto a comprehensive public realm scheme that will enhance access and activity onto the canal and promote links to future development beyond the ring road.
On approach along the canal, one of the towers will provide a dramatic stop-end to the view, drawing pedestrians, cyclists and potentially canal taxis northwards through Eastside. As such, the proposals have been considered, not only within the context of their immediate neighbours, but within the wider framework of Birmingham City Council’s adjacent ‘Knowledge Quarter’ masterplan, which the practice also worked on.
The buildings will be wrapped in a homogenous checkerboard pattern of cladding, echoing the rich tones of the City’s red brick industrial architectural heritage, whilst the proportions of solid and glass and high insulation levels are carefully considered to meet the energy performance targets.
An hybrid planning submission for the scheme is expected in April 2021.
Tani Dulay – CEO of Woodbourne Group added,
“Curzon Wharf isn’t just a development, it’s a manifesto that will position Birmingham as UK’s leading smart and sustainable city, helping to pave the way for the UK’s Green Revolution. It reinforces Birmingham’s position as the UK’s second city.
‘It will act as a catalyst for the wider transformation of the Eastside area where a number of masterplans have been earmarked which otherwise would not be possible.
“It signposts Birmingham’s route to delivering transformational change to the city. It will promote social, cultural and economic exchange in a truly transformative urban neighbourhood.”
Alex Carter, Partner at Cundall, and multidisciplinary project lead commented.
“Curzon Wharf is a key development for Birmingham, and it will lead the way for others within the city centre. We’ve worked closely with Woodbourne Group and the wider team over the past 18 months to ensure that net zero carbon principles are embedded in the development, starting with a fabric first and Passivhaus principles, efficient building services systems and removing fossil fuel use on site. It has been a hugely exciting scheme to be a part of.”