University’s Green Heart campus project completes

A major project to open up 12 acres of parkland at The University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus has been completed.

Construction on the Green Heart scheme began in 2017 and involved the demolition of the former library.

The area will provide space for markets, performances and events, including an auditorium, a café and bar set to open later in 2019, and dedicated areas for art, sculptures and the university’s collections.

The Green Heart restored the historic walkway between North Gate and Chancellor’s Court, as envisaged when the university was built in the early 1900s.

The space features WiFi coverage, digital information totems, and a Pavegen walkway which will generate data and off-grid electricity for USB charging points in benches on the site.

The University’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood, said: “The work of the last 15 months has been extraordinary. With some 160 trees planted as part of this project, the Green Heart is now home to more than 300 trees. This is a good example of our ambition to create a space that will become a thriving hub of biodiversity, provide flexible outdoor spaces for students, staff and the community and a sustainable heart to this Edgbaston campus.

“Looking ahead, the Green Heart will play host to many different activities in the years to come. I am particularly looking forward to seeing the amphitheatre in use at the Green Heart Festival this summer, when the Green Heart will be in full bloom.”

The Green Heart was designed by Churchman Landscape Architects, with support from  Associated Architects, and was constructed by Willmott Dixon Construction. The lighting was designed by Speirs and Major. Couch Perry Wilkes, Arup and Currie and Brown also played key roles in the development.