A planning application for the innovative transformation of the former Rackham’s buildings has been submitted to Birmingham City Council by owners LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General). The proposals have been designed by architects tp bennett.  

The buildings – the original Rackhams store and 43 Temple Row – located between Temple Row and Corporation Street in Birmingham city centre, have been under the ownership of Legal & General since 2014 and 2018 respectively.

Legal & General had previously been in discussions about a reformatted store before House of Fraser entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in the summer of 2018. An agreement was subsequently reached with Sports Direct to allow the business to continue operating from the premises on a short term basis. 

Refurbishment proposals, which have been designed by tp bennett, the architect behind the original Rackhams store, retain the essential character of the building and many of its original features as well as they are sensitive to its sensitive location overlooking St Philip’s Cathedral and the square.

Chris Wieszczycki, Principal Director at tp bennett said; “Using our historic knowledge of this site, our design seeks to take advantage of its central location whilst responding to changing patterns in contemporary retailing and strong demand for office accommodation.

Reflecting the building’s retail roots, the proposals include space for a range of shops, stylish bars, restaurants and coffee houses on the ground and lower ground floors. The nine floors above will be converted to contemporary office space and a new ‘boutique’ hotel on the corner of Cherry Street and Temple Row. Crowning the building will be the city’s largest rooftop terrace and a restaurant offering magnificent views over St. Philip’s Square.

A new, full height atrium will form a central focus for workers and visitors, allowing natural light to permeate the entire building.”

Simon Wilkes of LGIM Real Assets said; “As one of the best situated buildings in Birmingham, a reimagined Rackham’s will help meet the growing demand for office space and create a new cluster of attractive food, drink, retail and leisure facilities right in the city’s core.

“We have spoken to a wide range of stakeholders and received a very encouraging response to our proposals.”

Full details of the proposals can be viewed by visiting the website: www.rackhamsbuildings.co.uk where a comment form can also be completed as part of the stakeholder and public consultation activity.