Selfridges Building, Birmingham
by Future Systems
The Selfridges Building is a landmark building in Birmingham, England. The building is part of the Bullring Shopping Centre and houses Selfridges Department Store. The building was completed in 2003 at a cost of £60 million and designed by architecture firm Future Systems.
It has a steel framework with sprayed concrete facade. Since its construction the building has become an iconic architectural landmark and seen as a major contribution to the regeneration of Birmingham.
The architecture firm Future Systems were appointed by Selfridge's then chief executive, Vittorio Radice, to design only the third store outside London. Although Selfridges was physically integrated with the Bullring Shopping Centre the client wanted a distinct design approach which would set the store apart from the rest of the development and become an instantly recognisable signpost for the brand.
The building's facade is curved, wrapping around the corner of Moor Street and Park Street. The facade comprises 15,000 anodised aluminium discs mounted on a blue background.
Future Systems is an architectural and design practice producing highly original work. The designs are not only architecturally innovative and visually striking, but are also pieces of highly functional equipment, inspired by both nature and technologies transferred from other industries.
The practice is recognised worldwide for consistently challenging traditional preconceptions of space and demonstrating environmental concern and efficiency, without the need to compromise on contemporary form. Research is a vital ingredient for the practice and a balance between experimental and real projects is kept in order to remain at the cutting-edge of the field.
Delivering design excellence, whatever the budget, is matched by the emphasis placed on the development of a close working relationship between Client, Architect and Engineer, to achieve the highest levels of functionality. Future Systems take a proactive role in leading the design team.
All activities and costs are monitored throughout the tightly controlled construction process, enabling completion date objectives and budgets to be kept under control.
The management of projects is considered as important as the creative process and it is this commitment that gives Future Systems the confidence to pursue innovation both in design and procurement strategies.
Future Systems' work is grounded in sound commercial principles, enabling clients to achieve a variety of business objectives such as raising their profile, enhancing their brand positioning and attracting sponsorship. Future Systems have been quoted as 'laying down the agenda for architecture in the 21st century'.