What is The compound? Perhaps it would be easier to say “what it no longer is”, and that is, a textiles factory. In this old red brick building testifying to Birmingham’s industrial past, the architects of BPN designed a multipurpose creative space which is, at the same time, a place for art, a workshop, a little cinema, a space for filming and a stage for drama productions, and, of course, also a home!
A project custom-tailored to the client’s needs. The idea was to bring old industrial spaces back to life with minimal intervention, making the most of the original textures while introducing modern elements and contemporary art. The client is in fact an artist and collector who finds objects in old construction sites and gives them new life for new uses.
Nothing on the outside of the building suggests the internal transformation of The Compound: the façade of the old factory is in fact still intact. On the outside, the architects preserved the original brick and steel structure and industrial systems and left them in view, while modelling the spaces in response to the client’s requests. Using his own artworks to create links between the building’s different souls and functions.
For its ability to interpret and add value to the history and industrial past of the Birmingham area and local craftsmanship, the project has received three regional RIBA awards and been shortlisted for the 2017 Stephen Lawrence Prize.