Architect to plan 10-year redevelopment of city’s historic core into leisure, learning and technology quarter.

Architect Hok has been asked to masterplan a multimillion-pound inner-city development in Birmingham.

The Eastside development, which follows fast on the success of Brindleyplace, covers a 168 ha site and will take 10 years to complete. It aims to establish a leisure, learning and technology quarter in the city centre.

HOK was chosen by Birmingham City Council, which set up a regeneration initiative to oversee the scheme last year. It is understood that big-name practices such as Richard Rogers Partnership and Aukett Europe were also linked to the project.

The site will include the £113m Millennium Point technology complex, due to open in September 2001, and a 3.6 ha city park, set for completion in 2002.

HOK’s brief will be to link the schemes in the area, such as Millennium Point and the Bull Ring and Martineau Place shopping centres.

Work has already started on the £800m Bull Ring development, Europe’s largest city-centre retail regeneration project.

There will also be a major redevelopment of the Masshouse and Digbeth areas near Millennium Point.

The Eastside has amazing potential. The project will open the doors for expansion

Hok Source

A mixed office, residential, retail, hotel and leisure scheme is planned for the 13 ha Masshouse area, which has been dominated by a huge roundabout, due for demolition in the next year at a cost of £40m.

The masterplan will also link Millennium Point, Aston University facilities and the Aston Science Park with a tree-lined boulevard and pedestrian crossing to create a learning quarter.

An HOK source said its role would be a strategic one. He said: “There are a lot of localised projects taking place in the area. We are going to look at the site in its totality.”

The source said the prospects were exciting.

He said: “The Eastside has amazing potential.

The project will open the doors wide open for the natural expansion of an area in the city that until now has been cut off. We will be putting together a pretty clear strategy by the end of the year.”