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Three Chamberlain Square marks major milestone

Three Chamberlain Square marks major milestone

Three Chamberlain Square, the next highly sustainable commercial building at Paradise Birmingham, has achieved a key landmark moment for itself and the city as its terracotta façade units make progress across the building.

More than 8,000 bespoke facade panels are being installed on 3,000 windows across Three Chamberlain Square, starting with the building’s Paradise Street elevations.

The panels give the building its unique and appealing terracotta finish as well as its characteristic ogee arches, with the terracotta manufactured by a traditional supplier in the heart of Tuscany, Italy.

The amount of terracotta used in the building adds up to more than a kilometre in length, equal to the length of 20 West Midlands Metro trams end to end.

The building is currently at its eighth floor level in terms of construction progress, out of ten overall floors, and will top out later this year.

Scheduled to open in 2025, main contractor Sir Rober McAlpine (SRM) began work on site in the spring of 2023.

Three Chamberlain Square forms an integral part of the overall Paradise masterplan which is bringing up to 2 million sq ft of commercial space, including 370 residential units and 120,000 sq ft of leisure space, to the city.

At 189,000 sq ft, Three Chamberlain Square also helps ensure a continued supply of Grade A office space for the city with an emphasis on sustainability and low energy and low carbon design as part of the global drive to net zero.

The unitised façade is manufactured and assembled off site by specialist contractor Inasus, with Palagio in Italy contributing the profiled terracotta fins. Palagio has been in business for fifty years supplying terracotta materials around the world.

The façade has excellent thermal insulation properties which will improve the energy efficiency of the building. It is fully demountable, meaning its component parts can be refurbished and recycled in the future, rather than demolished.

The terracotta is also unglazed, reducing the embodied carbon further, and once installed requires little maintenance.

Gently aging as time goes by, terracotta also helps give buildings a uniquely organic look and feel, and at Three Chamberlain Square this process is a key part of the building’s appeal and identity as a highly sustainable space.

Designed by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS), Three Chamberlain Square is a radical statement of sustainability for the city and aims to be one of the greenest commercial buildings built in the UK to date.

With BREEAM Outstanding and NABERS 5* at design stage ratings already in place, it is already proving to be a first for Birmingham in terms of environmental standards.

Ross Fittall, commercial development director at Paradise Birmingham developer MEPC, said: “The façade panels are a key part of the design of Three Chamberlain Square and bring a new architectural aesthetic to Paradise, one that complements the adjacent Grade I listed Town Hall and pays homage to the Victorian terracotta buildings found throughout the city.

“As well as being an organic and beautiful material, terracotta is also robust and stands the test of time. It is completely fitting to be used here on Three Chamberlain Square, the most sustainable commercial building in Birmingham, situated in the civic heart of the city centre.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor John Cotton, joined representatives from MEPC and SRM at the installation of the terracotta panels. He said: “Three Chamberlain Square is a really good example of the tremendous transformation of Birmingham.

“We’re seeing record levels of investment in the city and that is about new jobs, new opportunities and bringing new businesses here. This shows how we are working together to change the city for the better so everyone can live, work and thrive in this great city of ours.”

As an important contributor to regional growth, Paradise is committed to creating high quality, new pedestrian streets and squares for everyone to enjoy, as well as improving wider pedestrian and public transport links across the city.

Early work on the access and transport links around Paradise were supported by Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP). Paradise has already completed phase one of the development with One Chamberlain Square wholly occupied by PwC and Two Chamberlain Square providing some of the best views in Birmingham, with stunning vistas across Chamberlain Square itself and of the city’s impressive Classical and Victorian civic architecture. Leisure operators include Dishoom, Rosa’s Thai Café, Albert’s Schloss, F1® Arcade and Yorks Café.

Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024