mac-group focuses on £7.5m residential scheme on former photo processing site

West Midlands-based construction company mac-group has been appointed to build a new, £7.5m residential development in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter.

The Photographic Works, on Camden Street, will be built on the site of a former photo processing building, which Solihull-based mac-group has also been contracted to demolish.

In its place will be a stylish four-storey development, designed by Jewellery Quarter based BPN Architects on behalf of property development company Hatchbury.

The scheme, which was approved by Birmingham City Council in December 2019, will comprise 43 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and five two-storey duplex apartments / townhouses.  There are external terrace gardens to the rear of the development over a steel transfer structure, under which is car parking for 27 vehicles and ancillary storage facilities. All of the homes will be available for private sale.

The site was occupied for more than 40 years by Munn’s Brothers Photographic Processing Works, which developed films for companies such as Boots, and the architects have taken inspiration from the site’s history to create a striking design both externally and internally.

Ray O’Sullivan, director of the mac-group, said Photographic Works promises to transform the area.

“This is a much-needed residential scheme in an historic area of Birmingham and we’re pleased to have been appointed to deliver it for Hatchbury,” he said. “We’ll be working closely with the developer to build a high-quality development that reflects the area’s history and sits neatly in its surroundings. We’re looking forward to bringing it to life.”

It will be constructed using a steel frame to the podium, with a lightweight steel frame above. External façade features will include detailed bespoke brickwork that are designed to reflect the style of film strips, which fade as they rise towards the light, and feature precast banding elements, plus Crittall-style windows and sloping Patent glazing to the third floor.

Bespoke interior design elements will feature photographic themes of light and dark, and exposure and enlargement.

Patrick Kennedy, director of Hatchbury Ltd, said: “Hatchbury are incredibly excited about our latest residential development and our first one in the city of Birmingham. Ever since the get go, we have been intrigued about the history of the site and were very keen to incorporate this into the design, both externally and within the individual apartments. This, we believe, has been achieved through the excellent work of BPN Architects led by Richard Newman and Jenny Harrison as well as Martin Rowe of PMP Consultants.

“Our aim is that our developments fall within our ethos of retaining and enhancing. Simply, we will focus to maintain the character of the Jewellery Quarter and improve the local community through sensitive development.

“Hatchbury now look forward to working side by side with mac-group in delivering a superb residential development located in this historic area of Birmingham.”

Work is expected to begin on site next month (March 2021) with an anticipated completion in Q3 2022.

PMP Consultants has been appointed as project manager and quantity surveyor, while Couch Consulting will undertake the structural engineering. Halligan Consulting Engineers will complete the mechanical and engineering aspects of the build.