Muirhead Tower, University of Birmingham

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Muirhead Tower, University of Birmingham

The Muirhead Tower is a sixteen-storey building comprising over 12,000m2 of gross floor space in two towers and a podium base, designed by Sir Philip Dowson of Arup Associates and completed in 1971. Although of exceptional design quality, this landmark building had suffered from failure of its glazing system and deterioration of the exposed concrete had made the podium unsafe. The brief required these technical issues to be resolved together with complete upgrading of M&E services, fire engineering, improved accessibility and vertical circulation.

The building has been sensitively remodeled and refurbished for the Schools of Social Sciences and Humanities and also includes office space for Information Services. The refurbished tower accommodates 150 academic offices and 230 post graduate writeup spaces. The podium has been remodeled around the existing Allardyce Nicol studio theatre providing additional rehearsal spaces and changing and technical facilities. Central student facilities are provided including a suite of lecture rooms for between 60P and 100P, an entrance cafe bar, replacement lifts and toilet cores, and improved accessibility provided throughout the building. The concrete has been repaired and the glazing system replaced with a double skin which controls the thermal and solar performance of the building which was deficient. The podium level was extended to provide additional stairs, space for the cafe and to provide a new main entrance, with an archive library to BS5454 sited under the principal level.

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