Hidden Spaces

April 16, 2015

Here in Birmingham, we’re blessed with more canals than Venice, the iconic Bullring and the best balti around, but every city has its secrets.

Over the past few months, we’ve been lucky enough to delve a little deeper into Brum’s rich and fascinating history, much of which lies underground. Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces came to life in December 2013 with a series of commissioned articles in the Birmingham Post offering a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the city’s most iconic places – from the Council House to the old Municipal Bank. Associated Architects’ director Matthew Goer championed the movement, unveiling captivating photographs of these secret corners and shedding a little light on some seemingly forgotten spaces.

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When these articles were published, they provoked such interest from the public that the feature was shortlisted for Best Supplement in the Midlands Media Awards 2014. And as the project has grown, with the aid of heritage Lottery funding, it is continuing to intrigue the people of Birmingham.

“We worked with VIVA to create an impactful collection of images that catch people’s attention as they arrive in the city and make them aware of the exciting activities in June. Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces’ busy programme of events for 2015 has been a long time in the planning and is much anticipated, following the popularity of last year’s event at Curzon Street station.

It has been a privilege over the last 18 months to visit and document these incredible hidden spaces, most of which are rarely accessible to the public. The response to the images we have shared has been extremely positive, with an overwhelming sense of civic pride clearly evident in the city.”

Steve Townsend, co-creator of Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces and architect at Associated Architects

Along with Matthew Goer, Steve Townsend and Jack Tasker of Associated Architects have stepped up the showcasing of this hidden side of the city and have teamed up with the Royal Institute of British Architects’ ‘Love Architecture Festival’. Hidden Spaces boasts a host of architectural, cultural and creative partners alongside RIBA, including the Birmingham Architectural Association and the Birmingham Civic Society as well as support from LoveBrum, Brumpic, Network Rail, Hollywood Monster and of course, VIVA. We’ve helped to style a series of spots in the heart of Birmingham’s New Street station, letting everybody know about Hidden Spaces and its upcoming events. As throughout the month of June, people are invited to attend talks, exhibitions and exclusive building tours as a part of the Love Architecture Festival.

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“Through the exhibition at New Street Station and the wider programme of Hidden Spaces events, our aim is to reconnect Birmingham’s residents and visitors with the city’s rich heritage and encourage people to shout about the fascinating spaces and tangible links to history that still remain intact the city.

Conor Nolan, RIBA Love Architecture festival organiser”

To discover the wonderful hidden spaces of our city, visit Hidden-Spaces.co.uk and to get involved in the events of the festival, visit lovearchitecture.org.

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