Study Trip To Birmingham…

University study trip:

On a very windy and cold day we went exploring around Birmingham to have a look at the architecture and interiors of the buildings.

Birmingham library:

The first place we went to after we got off our train (which was delayed so we had to wait even LONGER in the cold) was to the Library:

 

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Library exterior

 

When we got there we went straight to the top floor (9th floor) to the Shakespeare Room. You could see the skyline of Birmingham however, it was not very appealing to me with all the cranes in the views as shown below:

Repeat pattern in building:

In the room leading from the Shakespeare Room, the carpet had a matching design to the exterior of the building. I noticed that the design continued throughout the building  such as on planes of glass and office spaces/presentation rooms:

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Plane of glass
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Space

Sky garden:

We went down to the next level which had the Secret Garden Terrace on the 7th floor. We could not go out on to it as it was too windy to stand outside:

Rest of the library:

Explored the other floors in the library which were all full of books. I liked the addition of the fairy lights as it made it have a magical atmosphere.

Here are a few photos:

Of course while we were in the library we had to find the Interior Design section:

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Interior Design section

Ikon gallery:

The next building we went to was the Ikon Gallery.

 

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Signage

 

On the way we went past the canal which made me forget I was in a big city as it was so quite and calm. In front of the Ikon there were some stone sculptures with a little water stream which could possibly lead to the canal:

Exterior of Ikon gallery:

I loved the design of the exterior of the Ikon as it is a juxtaposition to the interior. They used an LED light for signage just inside the entrance which is unusual as signs are normally outside. However the glass doors let you see the sign easily as shown in the slideshow below:

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The gallery interior is very minimal with only a couple of pieces in each area, which makes the building really spacious.

I loved the texture of one of the artworks as shown below:

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Untitled 2015, Copper sulphate, Brain matter on hardboard

Another piece I found interesting was a foam machine themed series of work which looked similar to a piece from the Wakefield Museum I saw:

Town hall and Birmingham museum and art gallery:

On the way to the next destination we went past the Town Hall and the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. I found the architecture appealing as the museum was old and I especially liked all the columns around the edge of the Town Hall as it made the building look grand. Plus the stairs toward the Museum & Gallery had a lovely green garden area which you do not normally see in the high street:

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New street train station:

We went back to the Train Station to have a better look around and mainly for lunch (as we got hungry after all that walking). Within the station there are many shops and eating places for the travellers which makes the station very busy:

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Train station interior

Exterior of train station:

 

The exterior is very shiny which reflects the sunlight and it is very modern which makes it stand out in the landscape. I do not particularly like the exterior of the New Street station:

Selfridges in the bullring:

We went to the second of our MUST GO TO  locations which was the Selfridges in the Bullring. The opening of the shop was very wide with simple signage.

When I looked upwards the floors were curved like waves as shown below:

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Selfidges
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Selfridges

Paperchase in Selfridges:

I liked the striped pattern that was on the wall of the Paperchase section as it directed my eyes down to the products below:

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Paperchase

Selfridges interior:

As Selfridges has many floors in the shop, I looked up and all the floors curved together in a sharp corner to keep the same design on each floor:

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Selfridges floors from within the shop

As Selfridges is in the Bullring they had a bull sculpture made of sweets in one of the sweet sections:

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Sweet Bull

Selfridges lighting:

A few of the light installations appealed to me in the shop as they were only over certain sections in the shop. My favourite one was in the Cath Kidson area where there were trees made of wood with the lights draped from each branch which I found really inventive.

I just liked the simpleness of the other two lights as shown below:

Shop placement within Selfridges:

I noticed in store they put a high end shop like Ted Baker next to Primark which surprised me, as you would never see this anywhere else except in this shop, anything goes:

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Comparing brands

Bullring shopping centre:

While we were in the Bullring Shopping Centre we had a look around some of the shops. Inside the shopping centre in the corridor towards one of the bridges to the car park. There was a section which has a pretty light installation on the ceiling against the dark blue wall which it is reflected onto as shown below:

Hereford bull:

The Bull sculpture outside the shopping centre is a Hereford Bull which has strong historical associations with the city centre:

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Hereford Bull

Bullring entrance:

There is a poster above the entrance which is used on there TV and online advertisements as shown below:

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Bullring entrance

Exterior of bullring:

 

The exterior design was designed to fit in with the modern centre as shown below:

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Exterior of the Bullring

Police station on route to Gibbs street:

On the way to Gibbs Street, we went past a police station, which looked completely different to anything I’ve seen before.

It was different from a normal stations appearance because of the old architecture style which is detailed with accents of blue:

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Police Station

Gibbs street:

Finally we got to Gibbs Street after a long walk from the Bullring. We went to the Custard Factory, but found out that it was a business so we did not go inside so we just looked through the glass of the building.

The signage was very graphic and simple as shown below:

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Custard Factory

The other places along the street were a bit more interesting to me like the massive wooden sculpture:

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Sculpture

The street was colourful with buildings and lights connecting them that made it look like a set and not real. Also the buildings around the fountain had an interesting exterior set up with oval disks hanging from the windows which could be balconies. It reminded me of window cleaners for big buildings who clean on adjustable platforms.

Below are the photos I took of this street:

Eastside projects:

The last place we went to was the Eastside Projects which has simple signage.

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Eastside projects

Interior:

It had a massive exhibition space and a pop up cafe in the corner which was designed with triangles in mind and different coloured plastic triangles.

I liked the aesthetic of the door handle as it was big, chunky and made of different woods:

Summary:

I enjoyed the trip and the architecture around Birmingham as I looked at buildings differently than I used to. I felt inspired by the design features in all the buildings which could influence later projects.

Bibliography:

~Emily~

 

 

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