Set behind a patchwork of retained Victorian façades on the corner of Corporation Street in Birmingham, the Citadel Building is formed of a collection of buildings dating from the 1800s. The site has an eclectic history, with the buildings having served as a base for congregation for the Salvation Army for more than a Century, a Victorian pub, and 1950s pharmacy. London-based developer Kinrise, which specialises in restoring heritage buildings, obtained the building in 2021 with the goal of creating one of the city’s most desirable and sustainable workplaces.
The project creates state-of-the-art flexible workspaces within the heritage context, retaining the existing structure while reimagining the use, circulation, and increasing the total internal floor area. Webb Yates Engineers were appointed by the client to provide structural expertise to Architecture 00’s design.
Understanding the existing structure from the early stages was fundamental, therefore extensive investigations were carried out to justify the proposed alterations, new structures, as well as identify and remediate structural defects and concerns. Our recommendations allowed the design to reuse as much existing material as possible to deliver the scheme economically and sustainably.
The sensitive structural interventions included layout modifications and new openings to accommodate a more effective floorplan. With the new layout, staircases became redundant and were replaced with office floor area. Additional floor area was also achieved by cantilevering new lightweight floors over the central atrium. The central atrium feature staircase and seating required a balance of lightweight structures and adequate stiffness to control vibration, while ensuring buildability within the existing structure.
Local craftspeople and sustainably sourced materials were employed throughout the renovation, ensuring the building’s carbon footprint remains low and contributes to Birmingham’s local economy, whilst saving carbon emissions and reducing waste. The space is to be net zero in operational carbon.
With the continued life of the building, a modern yet historically sensitive space is created; a space which encourages a communal culture through social and collaborative workspaces, and welcomes the wider community through areas for events and street facing retail. In addition to preserving the city's heritage, the reuse of the building saved 2000 tonnes in embodied carbon, compared to demolition and new build.