Wesleyan and General Assurance Building
Colmore Circus, Birmingham, UK

Peter Hing & Jones
Date Built
1988 - 1991
Colmore Circus
The involvement of the Wesleyan Church in Birmingham in the assurance business stretches back to 1841 when the church founded the society to help people overcome the financial problems brought on by the first industrial revolution.  In 1866 an Act of Parliament was obtained to make it possible for the society to become a national rather than local organisation.  This also involved a change of name to the  The Wesleyan & General Assurance Society.  It was in the Society's 150th anniversary year that they moved into this, their new building, on Colmore Circus.  As you can see from the image above, the building is also home to Pinsent Masons an international corporate law firm.

This large cruciform building occupies the island in the centre of Colmore Circus.  It is clad in artificial pink granite which the Pevsner Guide for Birmingham says is, "angled between floors, like the legs of a huge insect."  At the centre of the cross, at the top of the building, perches a double pyramid displaying the name "Wesleyan".

According to an article in the Midlans Business News, published on July 21, 2011, "Intelligent lift technology has trebled the energy efficiency of Birmingham's iconic Wesleyan Assurance Society Building and reduced its annual carbon emissions.  Lift and escalator specialist KONE has introduced state of the art Destination Control technology in place of the traditional hoisting system.  The new gearless motor system not only saves 36 per cent of the energy the previous mechanism required, it also generates energy which can be used elsewhere in the building.  The result has been a significant reduction in the building's overall energy consumption. "