the most successful design elements of Birmingham are where the old and the new come together, creating a sense of somewhere that shouldn’t work, but does. Battered old pubs and markets squashed next to new civic icons; the weight of Dickensian industry alongside relics of the Sixties. This is what I think of when I think of Birmingham, and it warms the heart.
This Birmingham exists despite the planners best efforts. It seems the most inspirational spaces are there by happy accident. Maybe the best way to design the best spaces is to let it all happen naturally? To re-use buildings that already exist, rather than always ripping them out and starting again.
That is exactly what I think every time is see the back to backs nestling among Bimringham’s new build apartment blocks.