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Selfridges Department Store in Birmingham

With the Selfridges department store, the city of Birmingham has acquired a new emblem: a large, fascinating built sculpture that defies all sense of scale. Although there are no outward signs to indicate its function, the building makes up for this with its sex appeal, which now attracts customers by the thousand.

The curved facade, constructed with sprayed concrete and painted luminous blue, was realized within the limits of the investors' budget. Drawn over this is a seemingly floating outer skin of polished aluminium discs. Like sequins on a dress, they produce changing lighting and colour effects around the ample curves of the building, reflecting weather conditions and the surroundings, while at the same time lending the structure a quality of lightness and a granular texture. Internally, a large atrium draws natural light down to the lower storeys, where the gleaming white escalators and balustrades seem almost as spectacular as the outer skin.

 

 

Topics: The Client`s View; From the Bull Ring to the Blob - Urban Planning and Design; From Dress to Facade - the Evolution of the Disc; Innovative, Economical and Flexible - the Structure and Services; Cool Today, but Tomorrow...? Staff and Customers' Opinions

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 3/2004

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