Great Charles Street


Client: MODA Living

Location: Birmingham

Construction Value: £200m

Following on from the success of three MODA Living PRS developments, OOBE was commissioned to develop the landscape design and public realm for a dynamic new neighbourhood. Set on a 2.6-acre brownfield car park site and undeveloped for over 50 years, Great Charles Street is in the historic Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area of Birmingham.

The concept takes inspiration from the site’s unique location at the meeting point of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter and City Core. The design picks up on the traditional narrow passageways and internal courtyards found widely across the Jewellery Quarter, and are reflected in surface finishes, such as the traditional blue clay bricks, and street furniture.

A ‘necklace’ of key spaces has been created across the development. Each has its own character and identity to provide a strong sense of place. Flexible spaces have been designed for a variety of activities including markets, external dining and additional outdoor events.

The design has included opportunities for the work of local artists on the floorscape, street furniture and gates. These will draw on the heritage elements of the Jewellery Quarter to create a unique identity.

Delivering an exciting and contemporary design for modern living in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter

A tranquil and calm environment at ground level will be in the form of small secluded pockets with informal seating, planting areas and a central lawn for relaxing and exercise. In addition, two roof terraces provide further opportunities to unwind in secluded and informal surroundings.

At the same time, the wider site setting is enhanced and connections flow to Snowhill Train Station, the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham City Centre.

OOBE has incorporated its nature-based solutions throughout the development by providing a range of wildlife habitats and to address climate change. Two green roofs offer additional space for wildlife (such as Black Redstarts, known to breed at Snow Hill station) and help to reduce storm water run-off. At the same time, green roofs contribute to a reduction in energy costs with increased thermal resistance and evaporative cooling.

Through extensive public consultation and working closely with Birmingham City Council, OOBE has been part of a multi-disciplinary team that has delivered an exciting and contemporary design for this 39-storey high development.  With 722 new homes for rent, a gym, green spaces, roof terraces, communal lounges, co-working space and ground floor boutique retail and café-bars it is ideal for city centre living.  Great Charles Street contributes to Birmingham City Council’s ‘Big City Plan’ to create 5,000 new homes whilst valuing the city’s heritage and cultural assets.

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