Featured Projects
Glancy Nicholls Architects
The Engine Room
2 Newhall Square
Birmingham B3 1RU
Glancy Nicholls Architects
26-27 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3HP
Education (Higher)
University of Birmingham
September 2015
£40 Million

Following an extensive design competition and being short-listed from 120 submissions, GNA were awarded the Chamberlain Hall contract in April 2012.

The iconic development is located within the University’s Vale campus, situated within the Edgbaston Conservation Area and featuring on the register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest. The lake next to Chamberlain Hall is also of special sensitivity as it feeds into the adjacent Edgbaston pool site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The materials were subsequently chosen based on the autonomous colour pallet of the site in order to complement the historic Vale landscape.

The concept of the Chamberlain building was to create a development which visually linked the campus and the city of Birmingham, which maximised the benefits of the beautiful listed landscape in which it sat to both students and the public.

The award-winning new building provides 726 student bedrooms, split into 5 and 6 en-suite bedroomed clusters, and 1-bedroom studios. The design ensures every inch of space is utilised, with bespoke furniture maximising storage. The whole project consists of 3 linear wings, housing student flats, with shared gardens and recreational spaces, as well as a 21-storey tower housing student flats and studios with a bar, restaurant and conference space on the ground floor.

As a result of the integration of solar thermal and voltaic panels along with CHP providing heat and hot water to the development and neighbouring buildings, the project is now the most sustainable residences at the University.


“The site is located within the Edgbaston Conservation Area and also within a site registered as a Park And Garden Of Historic Interest; the design concept and detailing being suitably sensitively handled by the design team, led by GNA, managing to open views into the site from the surrounding area.  The significant challenges of planning consent were successfully overcome by GNA.  The design proved to be a great piece of collaborative work which realised all of the client expectations without exceeding the budget constraints”

– University of Birmingham