Broadway Malyan commissioned to develop fresh vision for historic Birmingham estate

Broadway Malyan has been commissioned to help develop a new long term vision for one of the UK’s oldest family-owned city estates.

The international architecture and urbanism practice has been appointed by the owners of the Calthorpe Estate, a 640 hectare area on the western edge of Birmingham city centre approximately seven times the size of the Grosvenor Estate in Central London.

The Estate, which has been in the ownership of the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe family since 1717, includes the celebrated garden suburb of Edgbaston and is home to a number of international sporting venues including Edgbaston Stadium and Edgbaston Priory. Open space makes up almost a quarter of the Calthorpe Estate, with attractions such as the Botanical Gardens, making it the greenest part of the city.

Home to over 3 million sq ft of commercial office space, in addition to Edgbaston Village, Pebble Mill and Edgbaston Medical Quarter, it also boasts 26 nurseries, schools and universities including the world-class University of Birmingham.

A key focus of the commission is the area earmarked for commercial use when master planned in 1958 by John Madin, the renowned Birmingham architect, which stretches from Five Ways, along the Hagley Road and Bristol Road corridors, to the south of the University of Birmingham.

Director James Rayner, who is leading the project for Broadway Malyan, said:

“The aim was to develop a vision that maximised the Estate’s potential and place it at the heart of Birmingham’s success in the long term.”

He added:

“With its rich mix of quality offices, institutions, the centres of healthcare and medical excellence plus the Estate’s heritage, recreation and period character housing, there really are very few places quite like the Calthorpe Estate and it is hard to overstate its importance to the future prosperity and strength of Birmingham as a whole.

“The owners of Calthorpe Estate have been careful and diligent stewards over the years and have created a vibrant mix of uses that have ensured Edgbaston’s status as the city’s best residential area, as well as a popular commercial and leisure destination. However, they realise that as the city and society in general evolves, so must they.

“As part of this project we will look at a range of development scenarios including a more mixed-use business community, the opportunities offered by medical, tourism and cultural uses and a future with residential and education at its heart, with a view to creating a vision for a highly connected district that doesn’t just secure future success for the Calthorpe Estate but can also acts as a catalyst for positive change across the wider city.”

The study area includes a range of existing buildings including Madin’s Chamber of Commerce building, the first major commercial building on the Estate, and New Square Garden, a 4ha site currently being redeveloped in a £300m scheme that will see the creation of 345 new apartments, 47,000sqm of new office space and more than 2,000sqm of retail and leisure space all set around a new public realm garden.

Calthorpe Estates chief executive Mark Lee explained:

“The Estate has evolved significantly over the years, Edgbaston went through a phase of development appropriate to Birmingham’s expansion in the 1960’s, however the way people work is now changing. We need to refresh our commercial centre with a vision that will contribute to Birmingham’s new-found vibrancy and economic growth, whilst maintaining the special character and community that Edgbaston has developed since Sir Richard Gough first acquired the land over 300 years ago.

“We have commissioned Broadway Malyan as a result of their enormous international experience in designing urban extensions for cities globally. Furthermore, we wanted to develop a masterplan with ambitions to help shape our minds and one which will see the Estate thrive for the next 300 years.”