Adopt a Digbeth Building

If you could adopt an un-used or under-used building in Digbeth, what would you do with it?

Jennifer Gutteridge is a postgraduate architecture student at the London Metropolitan University who is undertaking a project in Digbeth. She has selected a plot between Green Street and Bradford Street to focus her work, and is looking for willing volunteers to take part.

The ‘adoption’ is purely symbolic in order to pose the question: “what kind of city would you like to live in?” If you hypothetically were given the building, how would you ensure it came back into effective use? Jenny explains the project in more detail below:

The ‘Digbeth Adopt a Building’ scheme is designed to initiate the redesign and regeneration of a series of warehouses situated in Digbeth. The adoption of buildings aims to implicate a sense of civic responsibility for those that choose to live there, the adopters will suggest what should happen in their building and how such large buildings could be shared.

Though many of the buildings in Digbeth greatly characterize the area, they have also fallen into dereliction. However, Digbeth is becoming the ‘creative hub’ of Birmingham, and the eventual introduction of High Speed 2 into Birmingham predicates that tens of thousands of new homes must be introduced into the city. Given the proximity of Digbeth to the city centre, it provides fertile ground for housing development.

However, in order to preserve the nature and character of Digbeth, such development must be approached with care. Learning lessons from the conversion of London’s East End and industrial areas such as Bermondsey, perhaps we can understand that there’s a delicate balance to be made between accommodating new-comers to the city and retaining those who live in and love Digbeth presently. This is where adoption comes in.

See the image below (click for a larger version) for more information about the project. If you’d like to get involved, do get in touch with Jenny either by email to jennygutteridge@googlemail.com or by calling 07932 583 094.

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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