The Parkside Building, Birmingham, UK

Associated Architects
Date Built
Completed June 2013
Cardigan Street & Curzon Street
The Parkside Building is part of the Birmingham City University's City Centre Campus.  It sits next to Millennium Point and is connected to it by a bridge.  The building is home to the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media and the Parkside Media House. 

The university says that, "... The design has been influenced by the ideals of the Bauhaus – a German school founded by Walter Gropius that combined crafts and the fine arts, operating from 1919 to 1933 when it was forced to close down by the Nazi regime. The building formed the first phase of Birmingham’s Eastside - an important part of Birmingham’s Big City Plan."  They add that, "... ADM students are working from a core of workshops in the centre of the five-floor building, with studio space around them. There is also ‘collision space’ where students and staff from different courses see each other to pass the time of day, and exchange thoughts and ideas. The design of the atrium embodies this notion, with a central circulation stair encouraging students to move through a series of shared spaces before entering their department. The idea is also expressed in the main building facades, seemingly formed by a series of overlapping and interlocking boxes.  The Parkside Building also houses the University’s School of Media, where cutting-edge facilities include five state-of-the-art TV studios, together with seven radio studios and post-production suites, while classroom teaching on the courses moved to Millennium Point. These resources were integrated with those already at Millennium Point for students on media technology courses, allowing for more collaboration between students on different programmes and creating a greater campus ‘feel’."

To achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating and Energy Performance Rating ‘A’ the building has, "... a high performance external envelope, shaded from direct sunlight, with mechanical ventilation limited to the media studios and process workshops."  It also features, "... renewable energy sources including biomass and solar photovoltaic cells."  The facade draws upon the history of the area, ".... using a polychromatic masonry base both to reflect the locality and BIAD’s own tradition of brick and terracotta buildings in the city centre. An upper element of white brick with curtain walling is surmounted by a white rendered top storey with solar shading provided by aluminium mesh. The link bridge is finished in metallised panels to harmonise with Millennium Point."