Ugly duckling Birmingham building to become beautiful swan

Claremont Property Group gain approval for regeneration of 55 Holloway Head.

An historic ‘flatted factory’ in Birmingham is to be transformed into more than 130 new homes as part of an ambitious multi million pound regeneration scheme.

Claremont Property Group has received unanimous approval from Birmingham City Council for the residential conversion of Lee Bank House at 55 Holloway Head that will create the city’s first five-storey roof extension.

The property developer and investor will retain the existing seven-storey structure and add an additional five storeys to the Holloway Head side of the building and two on the Blucher Street end.

The development, which has been given the working title of Projekt 55, will create 122 apartments including 47 one-bed, 65 two-bed and 10 three-bed units, providing large open plan habitable spaces that exceed minimum local and national space standards. A further nine new townhouses with accompanying roof gardens will be developed on Chapmans Passage, with additional space for an office and a restaurant.

K4 architects designed the scheme, which reuses substantive elements of the existing structure, including the main staircases and lift shafts. The development incorporates a range of shared amenity spaces, a roof garden and larger than normal circulation spaces, encouraging social interaction between residents. The redeveloped exterior will create the appearance of a new building, with enhanced facades.

Andy Robinson, business development director at Claremont Property Group, said: “We are hugely excited to have received approval to transform 55 Holloway Head. We have dedicated more than two years in carefully planning this development, so it is very pleasing that our proposals were so well received by Birmingham City Council. We’re looking forward to maximising the potential of the building’s structural strength to deliver Birmingham’s first five-storey roof extension and a brand new facade that will make a marked improvement to the street scene.

“The pandemic has reshaped our lives and as we enter another period of lockdown with ongoing social distancing, the unique configuration of this building becomes even more relevant. It will allow us to deliver much larger capacity apartments than neighbouring sites, with unusually wide corridors and private and communal outdoor spaces that are atypical of other prime city centre locations. It’s a fabulous opportunity to rejuvenate an historic building and facilitate a very modern way of living and working from home.”

55 Holloway Head has a rich history synonymous with the city of a thousand trades. Built by Birmingham City Council in the late 1950s, the former ‘flatted factory’ as it became known, was designed to accommodate small industrial units displaced by residential schemes in the city centre. The building contains corridors and lifts that were designed to accommodate forklift trucks and includes large floor plates with a depth of 21 metres. It was one of just three of its kind to be constructed in Birmingham.

The building’s location is exceptionally well served for amenities, including transportation infrastructure, major and secondary convenience retail, leisure and employment centres. Sitting to the west of Birmingham’s Chinatown and the Gay Village, 55 Holloway Head is five minutes’ walk from The Mailbox and ten minutes from the Metro, New Street Station, Grand Central and the Bullring.