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City building once dubbed 'ugliest in the UK' set for transformation

The Brutalist-style office block located at 103-105 Holloway Head in Birmingham, United Kingdom, which was once derided as the "ugliest building in the UK," is undergoing a significant £4.5 million ($5.7 million USD) renovation project. This building, known as The Plaza, was designed by architect John Madin and was completed in 1968. The Plaza originally housed the headquarters of the National Freight Corporation and later served as the base for the West Midlands Police before falling into disrepair and vacancy.

The transformation of The Plaza is being led by property development company, Alumno Group, who have acquired the property with plans to convert it into student accommodation. The project includes extensive external and internal refurbishments to bring the building back to life. The renovation will include the installation of new windows, a new façade, and a complete overhaul of the interior spaces to create modern and functional living spaces for students.

The Plaza's renovation is part of a larger regeneration effort in the area, which includes the development of the nearby Paradise Circus and Bullring projects. These initiatives aim to revitalize the city center and attract new investment to the area. The Plaza's restoration is expected to create new jobs and provide much-needed accommodation for students in Birmingham.

The Plaza's controversial design, which features exposed concrete and large expanses of glass, has been a subject of debate among architects and the public since its construction. Some have praised its bold and innovative design, while others have criticized it as an eyesore. Regardless of personal opinions, the renovation project represents an opportunity to preserve an important piece of Birmingham's architectural history while also providing functional and modern living spaces for students.

The renovation work on The Plaza is expected to be completed by 2023, and the property will be managed by Alumno's student accommodation brand, Alumno Student Residences. The company has a proven track record of transforming historic and listed buildings into high-quality student accommodation, such as their restoration of the former Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh into student housing.

In conclusion, The Plaza, a Brutalist-style office block in Birmingham that was once criticized as the "ugliest building in the UK," is undergoing a major £4.5 million ($5.7 million USD) renovation project led by Alumno Group. The transformation will convert the building into student accommodation and includes extensive external and internal refurbishments. The Plaza's restoration is part of a larger regeneration effort in the area and represents an opportunity to preserve an important piece of Birmingham's architectural history while providing functional and modern living spaces for students. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.


Published 18 days ago

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