The Roundhouse in Birmingham – a ‘building at risk’, is a Grade II listed structure which is being restored and brought into the 21st century by the Canal & River Trust and National Trust joint venture. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund this circular loadbearing masonry structure will be re-born. NEC 3 contract has been signed for this project.
The Roundhouse is one of Birmingham’s most distinctive buildings. Built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation it was originally used as a stables and stores. Designed by architect W.H.Ward, the horseshoe shaped building has become a real landmark in the city.
The Roundhouse and the surrounding area will be a hub for walking and cycling the canal network as well as a meeting place. There will also be a modern coffee bar.
AKSWard had meetings with Historic England and the insertion of a steel frame had been approved. The external walls of the building were considerably bowed and out of plumb, which raised concerns for the structural stability and the integrity of the building. Having an in-depth understanding of the special circumstances of dealing with historic buildings, AKSWard developed a pragmatic structural design, which allowed the original fabric to be retained. The loadbearing masonry will be propped by introducing internal steel frames in order to provide additional stability.
Photography: Matt Beach and Jana Eastwood