Details

Keywords Change this

Blobitecture

Project timeline

2001 – 2003

Type

Retail

Location Change this

1 Bullring Shopping Centre
B5 4BP Birmingham
United Kingdom

Current state

Original

Architect Change this

Selfridges Birmingham Change this

Birmingham, United Kingdom
by Future Systems Change this
1 of 8

Description Change this

The Selfridges Department Store in Birmingham completed in 2003 quickly became a heavily discussed landmark. This is what Future Systems say about he building on their website: "Our brief was not only to design a state of the art department store but also to create an architectural landmark for Birmingham so that the building itself would become a genuine catalyst for urban regeneration.

We have re-interpreted the notion of a department store, not just in its form and appearance but also in the social function such a building now plays in our society. Its relationship to the church is significant, representing the religious and commercial lives of the city that have evolved side by side over hundreds of years.

The fluidity of shape recalls the fall of fabric or the soft lines of a body, rises from the ground and gently billows outwards before being drawn in at a kind of waistline. It then curves out again and over to form the roof, in one continuous movement. The skin is made up of thousands of aluminium discs, creating a fine, lustrous grain like the scales of a snake or the sequins of a Paco Rabanne dress. In sunlight it shimmers, reflecting minute changes in weather conditions and taking on the colours, light and shapes of people and things passing by - an animate and breathing form.

The interior is planned around a dramatic roof lit atrium criss-crossed by a white cat’s cradle of sculpted escalators and a smaller but equally powerful atrium.

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