Architecture, Masterplanning, Interior Design
Retail, Leisure & Tourism
The Birmingham Alliance

Linking the city

This acclaimed redevelopment of the 10ha Bullring site has been heralded as the prime catalyst in the city of Birmingham’s most recent renaissance, and Benoy is delighted to have brought the Bullring back to life.

Opened in 2003, the contemporary development provides over 160 shops and kiosks and also offers 3,100 car park spaces. The scheme embraces an appealing mix of attractive walkways, covered streets and public spaces around St Martin’s Church.

Building on the historic street patterns, Bullring is once again linked to the retail heart of the city with four new public spaces. These areas capture the imagination and allow Bullring to take on a fresh sense of place and meaning.

The floating Skyplane roof gives Bullring the ambience of a fresh, open air environment and the mix of covered and open streets has successfully linked the mall to the rest of the City.

Boosting the civic centre

To create an open, accessible development, the Design Team had to create a concept which overcame the ‘Concrete Collar’ limiting access to Bullring. The answer was to bridge right across the road and railway tunnels with four dramatic bow-string trusses from which buildings are suspended. This also allowed Birmingham’s main shopping streets, New Street and High Street, to flow seamlessly into Bullring, once again joining Birmingham’s main retail area with the new mall as well as connecting it with the surrounding city.

24-hour pedestrian routes were introduced to create a more welcoming Bullring, thus resuscitating the city’s retail heart. The thoroughfares mirror historic streetplans and restore dramatic views, particularly of St Martin’s Church.

Bullring is designed as a series of city blocks. Criss-crossed by streets, some open and some covered by the Skyplane, Bullring encourages the best of city street life. With stunning views and special places in which people now meet and mingle, Bullring brings to Birmingham the quality of life of great European cities.

Modernising a historical heart

It took over 10 years to transform the no-go, 1960s Bull Ring into a bright, safe and friendly environment. As well as breaking the old, monolithic Bull Ring into a series of city blocks that relate to those around them, Benoy created new streets and public spaces in which people can live, work and play.

Some daring engineering solutions were necessary to connect the reimagined Bullring back to its rightful place as the retail heart of Birmingham.

The newly created public realm within Bullring provides a dignified setting for the restored church.