Philip Webb Award
In 2019 Liberty, a specialist in historic buildings, collaborated with Leanne Barlow, a specialist in BIM and new commercial design to enter the Philip Webb Award, a design completion run by the SPAB.
Liberty and Leanne were awarded joint second place and commended for their design.
The competition brief was: To devise a scheme which sympathetically revitalises a historic building of the entrant’s choosing, which has decayed or been neglected, but which can be repaired and adapted for a sympathetic new use. The scheme should incorporate both careful repair of existing fabric and a significant element of new construction in a contemporary design.
Liberty and Leanne based the scheme on Curzon Street Station, a grade I listed building, as this was due to be refurbished by the local authority as part of the works in connection with HS2. However Liberty and Leanne felt the scheme proposed was not appropriate for the building, therefore decided to use the competition as an opportunity to review a new proposal.
Liberty and Leanne decided the building should be reused as municipal building, providing a nucleus which draws visitors, but also collaborates with its neighbours. Birmingham City Council have announced plans to demolish the markets in city centre and redevelop the area. They proposed that Curzon Street should become the new location for the markets. The new element of design was to be a concrete and glass structure aiming to be subservient to the existing building, and reading as a later addition.
Liberty and Leannes aim was that the proposal embraces Curzon Street as a public asset, providing business opportunities for market traders, local craftsmen and start up businesses as well a space for visitors and the local community to explore and enjoy.