Baskerville House, Birmingham, UK

T. Cecil Howitt
Date Built
1938 - 1940
Broad Street
Located between the new Library of Birmingham and Paradise Circus is the elegant Baskerville House.  It was built as municipal offices, on land reclaimed from a former canal basin, as part of a proposed Civic Centre plan in the 1930s that never came to fruition. 

When the city moved out in 1998 a number of possible uses were proposed including conversion into an hotel or as a replacement for the Central Library.  However, in the end it was sold to "Targetfollow", a UK property investment, development and strategic asset management company.  They acquired planning permission to restore and convert the Grade II Listed building to, "197,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation."  This involved extensive work within the original structure and the addition of two floors of glass and steel.

Targetfollow say that the result was the creation of a building that, " received a BREEAM rating of 'Very Good' and won Commercial Development of the Year award at the Midlands Property Week awards and the Midlands and East Anglia regional award in the Refurbished/Recycled Workplace category at the British Council for Offices awards."

The name comes from the fact that John Baskerville, the printer and typeface designer, lived in a house on this site in the 18th century.  In the foreground of the image above you can see a sculpture entitled "Industry and Genius" by David Patten.  It consists of a series of Portland stone sculptures depicting the Baskerville typeface.

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