World’s first net zero carbon skyscraper unveiled

The waterfront ecosystem, to be called Curzon Wharf, will be within eight minutes walking distance of the HS2 Curzon Street Station, offering sweeping views of the city and beyond.

The masterplan development of almost one million square feet is expected to boost the Birmingham economy by at least £151 million.

The hybrid plans have been designed after five years of consultation with Birmingham City Council and a world-class team of regeneration and built-environment specialists.

Developers Woodbourne Group say it will be a “truly transformative urban neighbourhood” when completed, incorporating both the latest technology and many social and mental health lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Tani Dulay said Curzon Wharf will reinvent this 1960s site into a “newly reinvigorated, dynamic, world-class and sustainable mixed-use ecosystem” containing life sciences, a new breed of residential and student living with vast public spaces “never seen in Birmingham before”.

He said: “Curzon Wharf isn’t just a development, it’s a manifesto that will position Birmingham as UK’s leading smart and sustainable city, helping to pave the way for the UK’s Green Revolution. It reinforces Birmingham position as the UK’s second city.

“It will act as a catalyst for the wider transformation of the Eastside area, where a number of masterplans have been earmarked which otherwise would not be possible. It signposts Birmingham’s route to delivering transformational change to the city.

“It will promote social, cultural and economic exchange in a truly transformative urban neighbourhood.”

The city centre site of 993,046 sq ft will provide new residential, retail, office, R&D and life sciences that is currently occupied by industrial units constructed in the 1960s.

The built-to-rent element will stand 53 storeys high making it Birmingham’s tallest building at 172m (564 feet). The purpose-built student accommodation will be 41 storeys and the co-living 14 storeys tall.

Tani Dulay said the development will include “never before seen” high quality, purpose-built student accommodation.

“Curzon Wharf will provide a sustainable, mixed-use space incorporating high quality accommodation providing up to 732 student flats, 265 residential co-living units with generous amenity space and up to 498 residential units,” he said.

In addition, it will include nearly 130,000 sq ft of office, R&D and life science space, over 3,000 sq ft of retail space, over 15,000 sq ft of leisure space, over 76,424 sq ft of new and improved public realm and 490m of new and improved walking and cycling routes.

The site is positioned on the northern entry to Birmingham on the A38 Aston Expressway just south of Dartmouth Circus – a site passed by as many as 21 million road users in a normal “non-Covid” year when entering the city centre from the north.

Planning and development consultants Turley and commercial property agents CBRE have calculated Curzon Wharf will add £2m a year in council tax and business rates and attract a New Homes Bonus of £4m.

Mr Dulay added: “We are creating a balance of new uses that never been seen in Birmingham before with a major area of new, high quality public realm to create a unique canalside environment with its own recognisable identity.

“We need to help power the economic recovery by facilitating investment, creating jobs and acting as a catalyst to further success. Curzon Wharf does this while catering for every residential demographic set not seen in Birmingham before.

“We have targeted the provision of amenity and public space like no other with a major emphasis on mental health and well-being. This will be the first development on this major scale to respond to the issues raised by Covid-19 and Birmingham’s newly launched high-rise green vision: Central Birmingham 2040.”