Latest commercial fit-out for Willmott Dixon

The significant refurbishment of one of Birmingham’s most well-known buildings has taken a step forward with the appointment of Willmott Dixon as contractor.

Formerly known as Temple Court, the Lewis Building was originally built as a department store in the 1920s by renowned 19th Century philanthropist, David Lewis and has been an integral part of Birmingham’s city core for almost 100 years.

Legal & General Property (LGP) which owns the Lewis Building on Bull Street has now appointed Willmott Dixon to carry out a comprehensive refurbishment to offer 114,000 sq ft of Grade A office space set behind a classic Portland Stone façade.

For Willmott Dixon, it brings to over £100m the value of work in the city centre, with the company also behind the National College for High Speed Rail in Duddeston to train HS2 engineers and transforming the Millennium Quarter with another project for Birmingham City University, this time expanding the Curzon building.

£18m contract

This latest contract will see Willmott Dixon strip back the interior of the building to shell and core, remodeling the building to provide floorplates of 17,000 sq ft – some of the largest in the city’s business district – along with a new 12,000 sq ft, fully glazed seventh story with roof terraces. All floors will receive high quality finishes, with the building benefiting from new mechanical and electrical systems.

The ground floor will also benefit significantly, with the installation of full height glazing that will flood the new double-height Manhattan-style lobby with light. The space will also feature a number of informal and collaborative meeting spaces, including a library, coffee area, lounge and bespoke exhibition space, demarcated through subtle but defined changes in finishes, colours and furniture choices.

Outstanding track record

Tom Williams, Senior Asset Manager, Legal & General Property: “With an outstanding track record of renovating historic and listed buildings such as Alexandra Palace, we are exceedingly confident that Willmott Dixon will deliver our vision for a 21st Century workplace in the heart of Birmingham. We are taking an underinvested asset and creating a truly landmark location that seamlessly blends a contemporary workplace with the building’s historic legacy.

“The Lewis Building represents a fantastic opportunity for Birmingham’s commercial market and we have already seen considerable interest from some of the larger requirements currently looking to identify space.”

Willmott Dixon’s managing director in the Midlands, Peter Owen:

"We are hugely proud of our role in creating Birmingham’s exciting new future with these projects, and are excited to be creating superb Grade A offices in the heart of the city’s business district.“

“LGP is taking an innovative approach to the Lewis Building, offering a product that is providing space that responds to the needs of modern occupiers while respecting and enhancing the historic aspects of the building’s exterior. This is an ambitious project but will create a significant addition to Birmingham’s office market and will represent a fitting legacy to this historically important building.”

Office specialist

Willmott Dixon has a big track record in the commercial sector with experience spanning construction, fit out and refurbishment. Recent projects include creating cutting-edge environmental offices such as the WWFs UK headquarters, The Living Planet Centre, entire town centre regeneration projects like Keynsham, new offices for Stanhope in Shoreditch and the refurbishment of the seven storey Grade II listed office at 1-2 Welbeck Street.

Peter continues ”We are really pleased to be working on the Lewis Building project, creating inspiring places for people to work in the heart of Birmingham. Being Birmingham based, it is a pleasure to see our city flourish and be a part of delivering that for our community.”

LGP is targeting high levels of sustainability in the construction and use of the building and have incorporated 74 car park spaces as well as secure, ground floor level cycle parking for 60 bikes and shower, changing and drying facilities. The refurbishment of the Lewis Building is being project managed by Ediston Real Estate. EPR are the architects for the project. CBRE and Bilfinger GVA are the appointed leasing agents.

The building is due to be completed by July 2017.