By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.

Close

Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Close

1961 April: Chamber of Commerce Building

On the Calthorpe Estate at Five Ways, Edgbaston, a site well removed from the congested city centre but near public transport and large enough for adequate car-parking to be provided. It is a 12-storey building, with two thirds of the accommodation designed for letting as offices. The remainder houses the Chamber of Commerce and contains administrative offices, an information floor, commercial library, council chamber, president’s suite, meetingrooms, club-rooms, etc.

Close up of the three-storey bridge connecting the two blocks

Close up of the three-storey bridge connecting the two blocks

All these occupy a four-storey block which also has a lunch-bar on the roof and a bank taking up part of the ground floor, which is recessed behind its structural columns. This block is separated from the main officeblock, at right-angles to it by a four-storey link with open ground floor which forms a covered drive-in. Both blocks are entered at this point.

West elevation of the Chamber of Commerce block

West elevation of the Chamber of Commerce block

The building is of reinforced concrete frame construction with-plate:floors giving:clear soffits. In the lower building the exposed ground-floor columns are faced with green Italian marble, the glazed wall behind them having panels of Portuguese blue crystal or grey marble. The concrete mullions on the upper floors are faced with Travertine with green marble inserts. Window panels are white Swedish ceramic mosaic. The elevation is framed in Travertine and the end wall faced with Portland stone.

The council chamber

The council chamber

The twelve-storey block has three rows of columns. The side walls, facing south-west and north-east, are fully glazed and divided vertically by thin pressed aluminium mullions. These elevations, also, are framed in Travertine and the end walls have a central vertical strip of glazing flanked by panels of Portland stone. Beneath the office floors are service ducts connected to skirting trunking round the perimeter of the building, which allows telephone and electrical services to be taken out of sight at any point.

Twentieth Century Architects

The C20 Society, with English Heritage and RIBA Publications, has published a monograph on the work of John Madin, by Alan Clawley (March 2011).

The C20 Society campaigns for the preservation of post 1914 buildings, find out more and become a member on the C20 website.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Essay

Featured

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

  • Architect

    £60,000 to £80,000 per annum Asia & Oceania; Singapore

Essay

Featured

Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2014

Venice Architecture Biennale 2014: The AR's Complete Coverage

From Charles Jencks to Liza Fior, read The Architectural Review critics’ take on every element of the 2014 Biennale

The AR Drawings Blog