The architecture in the city of Birmingham does not receive as much love as it should do. What many do not realise about the city of Birmingham is that despite the fact it has been around since before 1000 AD, the city does not have any history in terms of its buildings still standing from before the 18th century. With the industrial revolution kicking in full swing, the old architecture of the city never actually survived. This has actually allowed Birmingham to become a kind of blank canvass to some, and others have taken the opportunity to add constantly new architectural styles within the city that have allowed the city to become a merge of different architectural eras. Birmingham was even one of the first cities in the world to feature blobitecture, and the city itself has always been willing to try and focus their attentions on new marvels.
The history of Birmingham
With the onset of the industrial revolution, Birmingham as a city was one of the first to take advantage and grow as a settlement. They had an influx of both population to take the new jobs that the revolution caused, but also vice-versa. The most interesting and sad thing about this, was the result of the previous properties that no longer exist thanks to the revolution. During the rapid growth and the revolution, the city itself needed to find more space to house these industries. This resulted in the collapse and destruction of many pre-Victorian homes and landmarks within the city itself, especially after World War II. With these demolitions, newer buildings were created with the idea that Birmingham would become a cultural centre, and these Victorian houses were replaced with grand designs. In 2017, these grand buildings have either been or are currently being demolished to make way for newer, bigger buildings. One could say that the city is going through too much change and innovation at once, and the waves mean that the buildings and the city as a whole cannot stop.
Birmingham as a city however has housed many well-known or influential architects because of the constant adaption and change. This has become that much more significant since the rise of architecture in the city itself, which is allowing the city to really make a mark in the world of architecture. This shouldn’t be surprising, as Birmingham as a town has been around since the 600’s. Even though it has been around for that long, the sad fact that no history remains of it is what is worrying.
The actual city itself was designed as a planned town in 1166, and the town was actually planned around a market place (the Bull Ring). That is interesting to say the least, but the sad part of this history is when looking for the history of Birmingham within the city. It has been suggested that the only surviving evidence of the city from that time period was found underneath the whole sale markets, which was found accidentally. What has been suggested is that the town itself was built purely on timber framing, as there was a lack of building stone for Birmingham to be supplied with.
This is all for part 1 of the history of Birmingham, so if you enjoyed today’s post then please stay tuned in for tomorrow! Also, look at some of our previous posts when you get the chance because we have discussed a lot!