Squirrel Works, Birmingham

Layers of unsympathetic adaptation stripped back to reveal the original fabric

Squirrel Works, Birmingham. The rooftop penthouse replaces a previous addition to the structure.
Squirrel Works, Birmingham. The rooftop penthouse replaces a previous addition to the structure. Credit: Tom Bird
West Midlands RIBA Regional Award 2019
 
Sjolander da Cruz Architects for Liv Projekt
Contract value: undisclosed
GIA: 1,430m²
 
Squirrel Works is the repurposing of a grade II listed Edwardian former silver factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Layers of unsympathetic adaptation have been stripped back to reveal the original fabric and deliver a series of apartments, giving the building a new lease of life. Larger spaces have been retained, with the circulation reinterpreted by reopening the central courtyard to provide a communal covered outside space with apartments gathered around it. Details are simple and well resolved while the materials are predominantly industrial. The rooftop extension, which replaced an earlier structure, makes use of the panoramic views across the city for a penthouse apartment.
 
Regional Conservation Award
 
  • Inside one of the converted apartments at Squirrel Works.
    Inside one of the converted apartments at Squirrel Works. Credit: Tom Bird
  • Squirrel Works makes use of one the exisiting larger spaces as a communal circulation area.
    Squirrel Works makes use of one the exisiting larger spaces as a communal circulation area. Credit: Tom Bird
  • The penthouse apartment with views over Birmingham and the Jewellery Quarter.
    The penthouse apartment with views over Birmingham and the Jewellery Quarter. Credit: Tom Bird
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