This project was about creating a fantastic, flexible and sustainable destination for the community within a limited budget, that will rejuvenate a disused central location and provide a new focus for businesses, as well as retail and social opportunities. The site, which is owned by Bromsgrove District Council, has remained derelict for many years but members of the public and the council have been fighting for it to be opened and used by the community. With a small budget secured, ONE’s landscape architects and a landscape contractor were contracted to work with the council and community to deliver a space that will benefit local people and the economy.
Bromsgrove District Council
Landscape Architecture, Urban Design,
Located in the heart of Bromsgrove town centre, The Bird Box has transformed a derelict, unattractive abandoned site into to a public realm and mixed-use community destination which is bringing a hive of activity into this prominent location.
Named after a feature carved into many of the existing old Bromsgrove shopfronts, the Bird Box provides a flexible space for ‘pop-up’ and mobile businesses giving opportunities and support to startups and local entrepreneurs. The design also offers a flexible inclusive space with a stage, creative seating and open areas for the community to enjoy. The Bird Box promotes a ‘meanwhile space’ that attracts ideas, initiatives and activities that can nest, grow and migrate for entrepreneurs and the community to contribute to the wider cultural offer in Bromsgrove.
Feature trees with lighting scatter through the space offering shade and will extend the use of the site during the evening. There is provision for public arts projects, bold graphics and a range of materials which create a fun and vibrant atmosphere.
The environmental aspirations, as well as the small project budget, have driven re-using and recycling almost everything that was on the site. Concrete building foundations are being processed for the sub-base and block paving, granite aggregate and timber from a felled tree will all be used to face gabion baskets. Due to its central location at the heart of the community, it also has good access routes within existing public transport networks.
The demand for the Bird Box was strong, backed by research which showed the positive benefits that ‘meanwhile uses’ could bring to an area and business. The project was supported by senior council officers, Cabinet members, the local MP, local people, community groups and key individuals for the town centre with many organisations contributing to a proposed initial event plan which will bring new experiences to Bromsgrove.
ONE’s team always looks for creative solutions. This was a challenging site that has remained unused for many years and the team worked with all parties to design an exciting and attractive solution that will benefit the local community and businesses.
This scheme has transformed an abandoned and unattractive site in a prominent location into something positive for Bromsgrove. This could lead to further enhancements in the area and in the long term there is the potential for the space to become a permanent destination if local people take ownership of the scheme.