The turn of the New Year has seen the restoration of Cheltenham House on Temple Street in the centre of Birmingham completed. 14-16 Temple Street will open its doors to prospective clients in late January after construction work on the property has now been completed Webb Gray are very happy to reveal. Circle Properties purchased Cheltenham House in 2013, though sought to update the very tired building and bring it back to life. Cheltenham House is a very handsome period building in a central location of Birmingham. With the opening of the new entrance to New Street railway station it is seen that Temple Street will become the major pedestrian thoroughfare from the business district of Colmore Row down to New Street Station. This left a clear opportunity to provide grade A office accommodation within a period building and with such good positioning meant that this become a very exciting project.
The restoration of the building has seen a total renovation of the internal space and an update and restoration to the very outdated retail and office entrance at the front of the building. The original office entrance did not meet building regulations and so the office entrance has been moved and widened in order to comply with requirements. The main retail/restaurant entrance has been repositioned symmetrically on the façade and directly under the bay window at first floor whilst the keystone and other stone features have been carefully restored to match. Meanwhile the rear external courtyard was dominated by a huge external fire escape which had been added to over the years by ladders and other objects that meant it had become aesthetically unpleasing and impractical. Webb Gray have provided new firefighting facilities within the building in the form of better smoke alarm system and dry risers to allow the staircase to be removed. This also made way for the ground floor to be roofed over with a glazed lantern light above and the upper floors restored. This has now provided much better natural light throughout the building reducing the reliance on artificial lighting.
The renovation of the façade has seen the building establish a new landmark that is appropriate for the site and the surrounding area. The building has adopted a limited palette of materials that have created a unified architectural language with a set of key components that have allowed for a unified approach. The upper floor facades have been carefully cleaned and stonework repair has been carried out. The ground floor retail exteriors have been constructed in stone and with careful design have provided articulation and depth. Care has also been taken in the specification of and detailing of materials so that they will age well with even weathering. The finished article is an interesting contemporary update to a classical building that has successfully worked and has left high quality office and retail space.