In the 1990’s, Argent bought a 17 acre swathe of derelict land in Birmingham with plans to transform it into a vibrant mixed-use quarter: Brindleyplace. Amongst the abandoned buildings, only one of quality remained – the Grade ll listed former Oozells Street School. We were commissioned to restore, stabilise and repair the building fabric, which was in very poor condition. Soon after, Ikon Gallery received funding to convert the school into its new home.
We collaborated with artist Tania Kovats throughout the design process. The most obvious manifestation of her involvement is the way the building sits on a slate plinth – making the gallery itself a work of art within the environment. Externally, we restored the building back to its former gothic glory and added a new glazed extension. Inside, the old classrooms were replaced with galleries that needed to be as flexible as possible to accommodate a range of artists and exhibits.
For more details, read our Project Story.
Restoring an old Victorian school to create a stunning gallery within a new urban quarter.