The site is situated in the Gun Quarter area of Birmingham. This area has lost many of its gun manufacturers and has since fallen into disrepair. The site is regularily used by youths to drink and has a high crime rate.
The John Madin Collection archive therefore is at a prominent point in the area and drive on the further redevelopment of the area whilst maintaining the legacy of the area.
The context of the area is largely brick constructed industrial buildings with a variety of roof styles and sizes coming together to effectively appear as one mass. There are a number of white rendered 70’s modern buildings that appear in a state of disrepair. A modern building is located adjacent to the site.
The Birmingham to Fazeley Canal was an important link to the West Midlands feeding the factories of Birmingham, this is now being used mostly for tourism and has been replaced with a road links. The contrasts of scale between the two could be utlised in the building.
The archive was designed using the design concept (see site analysis sheet.) The building has a central atrium that separates the public galleries and private spaces into two unique identities.
The ceilings in the public spaces are large and open, whereas in the private spaces the ceiling drops down to 3m. This makes these spaces more intimate.
The mass of the building stays low to match the adjoining buildings.