Historic Birmingham building launches next phase of makeover

News - 1st August 2019

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A ‘boutique’ theme is at the centre of a major refurbishment programme for Cornwall Buildings in Birmingham.

The Grade II-listed building, which is owned by Bruntwood Works, is set to move into the next phase of its £1 million transformational refurbishment, introducing a scheme designed by the award-winning, Birmingham-based Associated Architects.

The planned makeover, which will get underway in September, includes a new manned barista coffee offering in reception, a ‘host pod’ to remove the traditional reception desk barrier and new seating areas on the ground floor to encourage flexibility and comfort.

Feature lighting will also be installed to create ‘zoning’ throughout the building, whilst biophilia will be brought in to inject greenery into the public spaces throughout the building.

The scheme, which is expected to be completed in early 2020, will focus on the ground floor, corridors, staircases and kitchens across the four-storey building, with office suites also undergoing a revamp to reflect the building’s heritage and forming part of Bruntwood Works’ commitment to sustainability.

Spanning four floors, The Cornwall Buildings is one of four Bruntwood Works buildings in the city, including Cornerblock in the Colmore Business District and one of Birmingham’s tallest buildings, Mclaren.

Rob Valentine, director of Bruntwood Works in Birmingham, said: “The Cornwall Buildings is a beautiful building that offers a real mix of innovative workspaces, including serviced offices and meeting rooms.

“The building has an incredibly rich heritage and we’ve ensured that we pay homage to its unique character throughout the refurbishment, preserving and restoring its original features to help create our sophisticated ‘boutique’ feel.

“Our customers at The Cornwall Buildings range from private equity firms to construction consultants and property advisors, plus businesses from many other sectors, so versatility is essential. Our suites are spacious and private, with high ceilings and full of natural light, creating an environment that helps to encourage productivity and goes the extra mile for customers.”

The upcoming changes follow the first stage of the Newhall Street-based building’s makeover, with a new lounge being created around 20 months ago, as well as meeting spaces being transformed with antique furniture and the latest AV technology.

As part of the scheme – and in keeping with Bruntwood Works’ commitment to local arts and culture - the team is currently finalising a selection of artwork that will be displayed across the building. This includes pieces from local artists Joyce Treasure and Suzi Osborn, who were awarded places as ‘artists in residence’ as part of Bruntwood Works’ partnership with Grand Union earlier in the year.

The pair, who also receive mentoring from Grand Union’s curatorial team, are based at a specially created studio at Cornwall Buildings.

The building’s event space offering will also be improved thanks to the reception area’s moveable furniture and AV system, creating more options for customers.

Rob added: “Creating vibrant, thriving cities is at the heart of Bruntwood Works and we’re committed to developing our buildings in line with each city’s needs and demands, enabling customers to grow and develop their business with us and become an integral part of the communities we create.

“Our core aim is to support our customers’ productivity and wellbeing, and the planned refurb to Cornwall Buildings will ensure that we have one of Birmingham’s most sought-after workspaces.”

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