City Council House set for major refurbishment Design team to draw up plan for landmark and museum
BIRMINGHAM Council House is to undergo a major modernisation as the neighbouring museum and art gallery is redeveloped.
The grade II*-listed complex, which comprises the Council House built in 1879 and an extension from 1911, requires significant improvements, in particular the upgrade of its electrical and mechanical installations.
A design team was this week appointed to carry out a feasibility study into the project.
Birmingham Museums Trust plans to “rethink” the city’s collections and showcase them in new ways aimed at attracting young, multicultural audiences and international visitors.
The museum plan will create new displays and exhibitions including a children’s museum, community gallery and larger learning suite.
Birmingham City Council has appointed contractor Bouygues and a design team led by city practice Associated Architects to carry out the study.
Conservation architects Rodney Melville & Partners and Hoare Lea M&E Engineers are also involved. A final report is due in June next year.
Councillor Ian Ward, interim leader of the city council, said: “As well as updating the Victorian infrastructure of the Council House, this provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to be redeveloped as an international destination which reflects the city’s stories to the world.”
Birmingham Museums Trust hopes to submit a bid for Heritage Lottery funds in late 2018 followed by a second bid in 2019.
Ellen McAdam, director of Birmingham Museums Trust, added: “This appointment is an important step towards creating a new Museum for Birmingham.
“We look forward to working with Birmingham City Council to deliver the project. We can now begin fundraising in earnest.
“The Birmingham museums’ team will be working hard to take the project to the next stage.
“We will continue to engage with local communities to showcase the city’s world-class collection.
“We aim to re-imagine this great historic collection for the young, diverse Birmingham of the 21st century.”
> Birmingham City Council House, in Victoria Square, was built in 1879