The gateway to Birmingham’s future

  • The gateway to a spacious multi-purpose development
  • Located on one of Birmingham’s most prominent development sites 
  • A striking curved facade of pale cream and grey

Our bold building design, paired with the generous park landscape, will create a striking new place in the heart of Birmingham.

Frances Gannon
Lead project architect, Make

Project Details

Location Birmingham, UK
Status On site
Sectors Office,
Area 13,000m²/140,000ft²
Client Arena Central Developments

Arena Central is a £500 million scheme on a 9.2-acre site in the heart of Birmingham. We were asked to design the development’s masterplan as well as two major buildings so far, including its gateway structure: 1 Arena Central, a mixed use development on Centenary Square with office, retail, restaurant and parking space. Our brief was to create a building that relates to its surroundings but has a strong contemporary presence – one bold enough to introduce Arena Central to the city.

Our design reflects the civic importance of the setting as well as the building’s role as a gateway. The facade is a chequerboard of pale cream cladding panels and grey-tinted glazing – a pattern that emphasises the huge curved elevation so it reads as an anchoring presence. We’ve included soft planting and landscaping to enhance the bold geometry even further.

Striking as it is, the design still fits into its context. Its size reinforces Centenary Square’s missing corner. And its curved facade provides a beautiful contrast to the rectilinear Municipal Bank next door.

With this juxtaposition between contemporary and classic, 1 Arena Central represents a unification of the square’s illustrious past and promising future, all in one building. It’s a bold introduction to Arena Central and to Birmingham’s commercial future at large.