Green light for for 200,000 sq ft office space at Grand Central

How the exterior of Drum will look

Plans to transform the former John Lewis department store at Grand Central, part of Hammerson’s Birmingham estate, into 200,000 sq ft of offices called “Drum” have been approved.

The scheme has been designed by Ken Shuttleworth’s Make Architects to accommodate up to 2,000 people.

Drum will extend the former department store’s atrium through all the four floors of the building to include an entrance that widens as it rises. It will lead to a rooftop garden lounge. Green walls on each level will give the appearance of the garden spilling back down through the building.

Harry Badham, chief development and asset repositioning officer at Hammerson, said: “This project is the next step in Hammerson’s vision to transform our Birmingham estate, creating a truly multi-use asset that thrives due to its relevance and diversity. Inspired by the 15-minute city concept Drum is also an original and highly important evolution of workplaces, built on the principles of connectivity, amenities, and sustainability. It will bring to Birmingham a new type of workspace that meets the requirements post-pandemic of established and start-up businesses, creating a new world-class environment at this key national interchange and gateway to the UK’s fastest growing city.”

As part of the proposals, the ground floor will be repurposed into a 40,000 sq ft space will complement the existing food and hospitality hub in Grand Central, adding a combined hospitality space with restaurant, bar and food market. The plans also include space for a premium grocery offer, gym, wellbeing amenities, flexible events space and end of trip facilities for cyclists.

Ken Shuttleworth, founding partner at Make Architects, said: “We’ve been creatively considering how we rethink big box retail within city centres, to ensure we can enliven these key spaces and draw people back into the workplace by prioritising wellbeing and dynamism. We’ve applied this here so the design for Drum goes beyond a traditional workspace in every sense.”
Work on the transformation will begin later this year, with the potential for completion in 2025.

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