Broadway Malyan and Atkins’ Midlands offices among five finalists

Five teams have been shortlisted in an anonymous open competition to redesign Birmingham’s Centenary Square. 

The finalists, who include Graeme Massie Architects and Open Studio Architects and are all British, were selected from 185 entries from 30 countries.

RIBA Competitions adviser Sasha Bhavan, of Knox Bhavan Architects, and Birmingham council chief Ian Ward hailed the fact that two of the finalists were from Birmingham.

The pair are Atkins and Broadway Malyan, both global firms headquartered in southern England, though each has an office in Birmingham.

“Although judging was done anonymously, I am delighted that two Birmingham practices have made the shortlist, seeing off fierce competition from a wide range of international entries,” said Ward, deputy council leader and a member of the jury.

“This competition demonstrates that Birmingham is not afraid to embrace innovative and unusual ideas,” he added.

Bhavan said: “It was the impressive analysis and empathy with the site and city which probably resulted in an all-UK shortlist, two of which are Birmingham practices.

“We are looking forward to being surprised and delighted with the developing next stage of the competition. This is a tremendous opportunity for the shortlisted five and Birmingham to show how innovative thoughtful design can transform a major public civic space.”

The competition, run by RIBA Competitions and the Landscape Institute on behalf of Birmingham council, is looking for ideas to make the square outside Mecanoo’s new library more attractive. It will also link to Chamberlain Square, via Glenn Howells’ Paradise Circus scheme which is to replace John Madin’s old library.

It is being funded through Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s £275 million enterprise zone investment fund.

The finalists will now develop their initial concepts ahead of a public exhibition in May. Final judging takes place in June this year.


Atkins, Birmingham

Barton Willmore, Reading

Broadway Malyan, Birmingham

Graeme Massie Architects, Edinburgh

Open Studio Architects with United Visual Artists, London