Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces is a project by Associated Architects and the Birmingham Post, in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects and Colmore Business District.
Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces’ adventure began in 2013, with the aim of uncovering some of the lost and undocumented traces of Birmingham’s built heritage and revealing the city’s forgotten histories and untold stories. For the past three years the project has been seeking out the lesser-known parts of the city, looking beyond the everyday places and spaces that we inhabit to unearth the hidden treasures right under our noses. The many fascinating discoveries have been shared for all to see through stunning photographs and video footage, as well as occasional events and public open days.
June 2015 saw the project undertake its most ambitious endeavor yet. A team of over 20 volunteers came together to deliver a month-long programme of 25 events, ranging from unique exhibitions in unusual urban spaces, to building open days, workshops and guided tours of the city. We were humbled by the response, which saw over 10,000 people attending events across the city.
At the core of what we do is the fantastic body of photography, that informs our articles and exhibitions. In three years we have managed to visit many amazing places, amassed a stunning collection of images and even documented some parts of Birmingham that will never be seen again. All of this only been achievable through the support of project partners such as the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Heritage Lottery Foundation.
When we started these publications we talked about how Birmingham was on the precipice of a great change, ready to be washed over by a wave of construction and investment. Now, nearly three years later, we’re reaping the benefits of this change, as the city heads into a new era. It’s easy to be rose tinted about the past, but the Birmingham we’re living in now is a cultural, exciting and attractive place to live.
By sharing the lost and forgotten parts of the city it reminds us to take stock of where we come from and what it is that gives this great city its unique identity. We aspire to grow as a modern, vibrant city that remains firmly connected to its heritage by celebrating the remaining tangible links to the past. In this vein we are proud to announce that we have launched a dedicated Hidden Spaces feature within the Birmingham Walking Architecture App (BAApp), which allows you to view all the Hidden Spaces on the move and upload your own photographs to the collection. It’s free from the App store and we urge you to download it and check it out.
Birmingham is thriving, we’re being talked about at a global level, and we have a bedrock of positive, proactive people underpinning the success of the city and its projects. At the heart of this is the architecture, the concrete, mortar, steel and glass, that gives us the outstanding spaces in which we live, work and discover.
Jack Tasker, Steve Townsend & Conor Nolan
Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces