Please note the competition is now closed.



Birmingham City Council invites UK and international architects, landscape architects, urban designers and students of these disciplines, to enter the Centenary Square Design Competition. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, to be part of shaping Birmingham's future.

The design competition for this key public space will be in two stages. In the first stage we are asking for conceptual designs that will be judged anonymously. The 5 best of these will then progress to stage two; the shortlisted teams will be granted an honorarium and asked to develop their designs further. Judging for the stage two submissions will include a public consultation.

Up to £5 million construction costs for the project have been identified plus additional funding for fees, which is subject to final City Council approval when the winning design has been confirmed. It is the intention that the design team of the winning application will be appointed and retained for all RIBA stages of the project. Project Management and Quantity Surveying services will be provided by Acivico Ltd. The contractor will be allocated through the Constructing West Midlands (CWM) Framework.

Centenary Square sits at the heart of an area of significant change within the west of the city centre. The recently completed Library of Birmingham, the refurbished and remodelled Repertory Theatre and the future extension of the Metro to the square; coupled with a number of significant developments in the immediate area gives us the perfect opportunity to reinvent this historic square.

The multi-award winning Eastside City Park and the Library of Birmingham demonstrate Birmingham's proven track record of delivering outstanding, world class projects and public spaces. Centenary Square is an opportunity to build on these successes and go further to cement the City's international status.

Site and Context

Centenary Square is located to the west of the city centre of Birmingham and is one of the largest civic open spaces in Birmingham at just under 20,000 m2. The square is bounded by the Rep Theatre, Library of Birmingham, Baskerville House, Hyatt Hotel, House of Sport, Birmingham Municipal Bank, the ICC, Symphony Hall and Paradise Forum. The site coverage extends to the building façades.

To the north east is the Paradise Forum development by Argent on the site of the old Birmingham Library and to the south east on Broad Street is the Arena Central development by Miller Developments, both of which are due to start on site in the next six months. These new buildings will be considerably taller than the existing context therefore the proposed proportions of the square have to be considered as well as the newly created public realm.

The north western edge of the square includes Baskerville House which was originally council offices but are now privately owned and rented out as serviced offices. In the centre is the recently completed Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo which was shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize and won the BBC public vote for the best building. The Library of Birmingham is linked internally to the Birmingham REP theatre which was originally completed in 1971.


The south western edge of the square is dominated by the International Convention Centre which was completed in 1992. The International Convention Centre houses the internationally renowned Symphony Hall and has a public link through the centre of the building to the Brindley Place development. Symphony Hall is one of the top venues in the world and the visitor experience of arrival and leaving the hall should be taken into consideration. The Hyatt Hotel, which is on the south western corner and linked by a high level bridge to the International Convention Centre, is Birmingham's premier hotel.

The south eastern side is dominated by Broad Street which is a major part of the city centre's night life. As mentioned earlier, part of this side is being developed by Miller Developments. The only building to be retained on this side is the Municipal Bank. This building is owned by Birmingham City Council and there are plans to redevelop it as a major cultural venue.

Aerial view of Centenary Square

Centro is currently extending a tram system through the city. The line into Centenary Square will run from a new terminus stop on Stephenson Street outside New Street Station, along Pinfold Street and turn west onto Victoria Square, with a stop at the Town Hall. The extension will travel along Paradise Street to Paradise Circus and turn onto Broad Street, where it will continue to a stop at Centenary Square, from here it will continue down Broad Street to a terminus at Five Ways.

In association with


Competition Contact

The competition is being administered by RIBA Competitions, to whom any enquiries relating
to the general conditions of this competition should be addressed.


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