Muirhead Tower, University of Birmingham, UK

Arup - Sir Philip Dawson
Date Built
Edgbaston Campus
The University of Birmingham's Muirhead Tower is clearly a Marmite building that has drawn a significant degree of criticism during its life but which, after a 2 year £40m transformation, remains an icon of modernist architecture on the Edgbaston Campus.

Designed by Sir Philip Dawson, a founder of Arup Associates, the building is made up of two off-set 12-storey towers sitting on a shared podium.  Between 2007 and 2009 the building underwent a significant transformation by the Birmingham based Associated Architects working with Sir Philip Dawson.  The university's website explains that, "... The design keeps the façade as designed by Sir Philip Dowson but completely transforms the interior to create a space that is functional but also beautiful. ... The renovation led by the University’s Estates Team completely remodelled the tower to create a state of the art home for the University’s College of Social Sciences and Special Collections. The 12th floor of the building also includes a Hospitality Suite with a fully functional kitchen and board room boasting panoramic views out across the city. .... The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator."

Apparently, the building had a Paternoster lift but that seems to have been removed during the transformation.

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