Generating investment of £700m into the city of Birmingham and delivering 1.74m sq ft of premium office accommodation, Paradise is one of the UK’s most significant commercial development projects outside of London. The site was previously home to the Birmingham Central Library, which overpowered the surrounding civic buildings including Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Baskerville House. It was seen as a significant physical barrier between the City Centre and Brindley Place, including venues such as the International Convention Centre, the National Indoor Arena and the Repertory Theatre. The Paradise scheme enables the whole area to be pedestrianised, reconnecting the city’s civic and cultural centres and providing new high-quality commercial accommodation in the heart of the City.
Development is planned over three phases, with Phase One due to complete in 2021 and construction works for Phase Two commencing in 2019.
Ramboll has played a key role in the delivery of the first two phases of this transformational project since our first involvement in 2014.
Paradise Phase 1 Enabling and Public Realm Works
Following on from the successful delivery of numerous projects for Argent at King’s Cross Central Development, Ramboll was appointed as civil and structural engineer to deliver Phase 1 of the regeneration of Paradise. The Phase 1 works commenced on site in January 2015 and included the demolition of the Birmingham Central library, on-site enabling works, transformation of the new public realm areas connecting Victoria Square and Centenary Square and the construction of a two-storey car park structure. The structure is designed to support the first two commercial office buildings; One Chamberlain Square designed by Eric Parry Architects and Two Chamberlain Square designed by Glenn Howells Architects.
The last major re-development of the site in the 1960s-70s left a network of tunnels and service ducts, including the A38 Queensway Tunnel and a mains services tunnel carrying critical infrastructure, as well as an abandoned bus station and pedestrian subway system. Ramboll’s structural and geotechnical engineers designed the new foundations in the development to span over the existing tunnels without overloading these retained assets and provided specialist advice to predict the behaviour of the tunnel structures during and after demolition of the buildings directly above. Find out more about our work on Paradise Phase One.
One Chamberlain Square
Ramboll provided civil and structural engineering design services for the first building to be completed under the Paradise development.
Designed by Eric Parry Architects, One Chamberlain Square provides retail outlet space at ground level, seven storeys of office accommodation and a plant enclosure situated at roof level servicing the whole building. The building is now fully occupied by PwC, who have made One Chamberlain Square their regional headquarters.
Our engineers developed and fully detailed a highly efficient post-tensioned concrete structural design, including a complex transfer structure at Level 6. The intricate facade arrangement, including an array of ceramic fins springing from an exposed polished precast concrete frame, required Ramboll’s engineers to work in close collaboration with the architect and specialist facade designers to produce an coordinate the complex facade support systems required to successfully realise the architectural ambition for the building.
Ramboll delivered the detailed design for this building from RIBA Stage 4 to completion. Learn more about One Chamberlain Square.
One Centenary Way
One Centenary Way is an innovative landmark office building at the gateway to the Paradise development, the first building to be constructed in Phase Two of the development.
Ramboll is appointed to provide multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy services to Sir Robert McAlpine and is responsible for completing the detailed design of this iconic building. The project comprises a 16 storey commercial building providing office and retail accommodation and public realm works connecting the development site to the Phase One Paradise development. The majority of the site footprint is located above the A38 dual carriageway tunnel; a key transport artery through the city. Being situated directly above two major tunnels, all sixteen floors of the building are supported on storey-deep steel trusses, spanning up to 35m over the tunnels below. The steel frame structure is fundamental to realising the development potential of the site and is architecturally celebrated in the form of vierendeel exoskeleton frames, which provide lateral and vertical support to the building. Ramboll’s engineers have pushed the boundaries of steel frame design, working closely with architects, steel fabricators and the main contractor to achieve a buildable structural solution that respects the highest aesthetic aspirations for the building. Ramboll’s fully integrated design team provided a suite of engineering and consultancy services for the project. More about One Centenary Way.