Revealed: Stunning new images show a ‘pedestrian-first’ Snow Hill Square

Stunning new designs have been released to show how one of Birmingham’s busiest open spaces could look as part of a phased £10 million improvement project for the Snow Hill area of Colmore Business District.

Snow Hill Square will be completely redesigned in a £3.3m scheme to provide an attractive and welcoming gateway to the city centre from Snow Hill rail station. Putting pedestrians first, the square will establish a new benchmark for public space in the city, adding value and attracting investment.

The redesigned square is at the heart of a number of changes to the Snow Hill area that will consider street usage and provide more space and comfort for pedestrians as well as prioritising pedestrians wherever possible and introducing more ‘staying/stopping’ space.
Scheme details include:

  • Introducing a new two-way traffic flow on Livery Street between Cornwall Street and the Livery Street car park entrance
  • Swapping the location of a bus stop on Livery Street and the taxi rank in front of Snow Hill station
  • Removing the right-turn from Livery Street to Colmore Row
  • Rerouting bus routes 7, 46 and 101
  • Reconfiguring the junction of Colmore Circus Queensway and Snow Hill Queensway

Colmore Business Improvement District (BID) is working alongside Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands and architect and design practice Broadway Malyan on the proposals, along with property owners and tenants who are being consulted throughout.

Information about how the scheme will be funded will be made available during a month-long public consultation process.

Rob Valentine, Colmore BID Vice Chairman, said: “Snow Hill Square makes a suitable extension of the earlier work of Colmore BID in Church Street Square and Colmore Square.

“Though a technically and legally demanding project, involving a live railway tunnel and multiple ownership interests, this space is a true gateway into the Colmore Business District and needs to be a high quality environment.

“I’m very pleased with the design, and can’t wait to see this example of business-led place-making become a reality.”

Birmingham City Council Leader, Cllr John Clancy, described the plans as ‘exciting’.

“Snow Hill Station is an important gateway into Birmingham and these designs are a clear signal of our intent to develop a hugely important part of the city,” he said.

“Colmore BID and Birmingham City Council share a vision for Snow Hill Square and this exciting project is yet more proof that big things are happening in this city.”

The new square will create a decluttered environment with areas of calm providing opportunities for workers and visitors to enjoy the space throughout the day.

A proposed glass pavilion entrance to a new underground restaurant at One Colmore Row features prominently in the new square, alongside a large timber ‘City Bench’, designed to be a robust and beautifully detailed feature within the square.

Special attention is being paid to street and floor lighting throughout to enable better daytime and evening use of the square.

High quality natural stone has been selected to provide an enduring and unifying surface finish.

Wayfinding elements play on local Anglo Saxon history and topography with ground-level granite etched units featuring abstracted geometric details from Birmingham maps.

Broadway Malyan Director Danny Crump said: “Public open spaces are highly valuable to the liveability of a city centre – that enigmatic quality that creates a sense of place and makes it feel good to be somewhere.

“Snow Hill Square is a real opportunity to properly utilise a valuable public space in a really vibrant part of Birmingham while also providing an appropriate welcome for this key gateway into Birmingham.

“We have enjoyed working with key stakeholders and the local business community to evolve the concept proposals and it’s exciting to see the scheme move closer towards delivery.”

A Birmingham City Council public consultation will take place near the entrance to Snow Hill station between Thursday 6 October and Wednesday 2 November, with special hoardings featuring the artists’ impressions, before a tender period throughout the winter and construction work beginning in spring 2017.  Details of the consultation events will be advertised on the Colmore BID website.

It is anticipated the project will be completed in summer 2018.

Find out more about the consultation process here.