Birmingham-based Boxer is to create an identity for the revamped Fort Dunlop complex on the northern edge of city, and further work for other consultancies may be in the offing once developer Urban Splash finalises its plans.
A derelict tyre warehouse next to the M6 motorway, Fort Dunlop has been regarded as an eyesore for 25 years. Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, has handed Urban Splash £12.4m towards the £115m project to create offices, shops and a hotel at the 3.3ha site.
Urban Splash has appointed Liverpool-based architect Shed KM to masterplan the scheme and is in discussions with an unnamed hotelier. Boxer will create a brand, identity and marketing materials that convey Fort Dunlop’s transition from ‘industrial icon’ to ‘future commercial beacon’, says Urban Splash development manager Nathan Cornish.
Details of the brief will be worked out shortly, according to an Urban Splash spokesman, who adds that discussions are proceeding with Shed KM about the composition of the mixed-use development.
‘But, given that there are large retail parks close by, it’s unlikely that it will feature destination retail outlets,’ he says, adding that retail and leisure provision will probably focus on meeting the needs of office workers.
According to Boxer managing director David Poole, ‘The building is a mirror on the city’s revitalisation. The design will inject some contemporariness and modernity to it.’
Billboard displays on the side of Fort Dunlop itself will ‘tell a story about what’s going on inside’ with ‘wit and humour,’ he adds.