Mark Sloane from Acivico drew up the plans for the community hub at Stirchley Baths following community consultation and involvement.
The plans (which were approved by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee in March) were a real challenge – how to preserve the building’s historical features while making sure the building is fit for its new purpose in the 21st century?
Mark talks about how the swimming pool – although boarded over for the main hall of the community hub – will still be a central feature, as will lots of other features. For example, the reception kiosk, where people would have paid to swim or to take a bath, will be maintained and restored.
As well as conserving the building’s heritage, Mark says the plans also incorporate elements from the original plan for the Baths that were drawn up in the 1900s. A second cupola, much taller than the one that stands at the entrance to the building, was lost at some point in the building’s history, as was a clock. Both will be recreated as part of the community hub project. And both would never have been discovered if it wasn’t for the original, century-old plans (which we hope to get on to the site for you to have a look at very soon).
You can listen to the interview
We talked about the new plans for the community centre while looking at hard copies, with Mark giving a guided tour of sorts of what’s planned! Here are the plans we looked at:
You can also download them as PDFs