The huge scale of the Bullring was matched only by the logistical challenges posed by its site and location.
Redevelopment of the Bullring shopping centre changed the face of Birmingham city centre.
On a 26 acre site bounded by two railway stations and two bus terminals, work included lowering a road by 3.5m over operational Victorian rail tunnels.
It also involved suspending two buildings over the road and railway tunnels from four 120 tonne, 50m long trusses and constructing three mall levels across a site that dropped 19.5m.
We carried out monitoring and analysis to allow major construction work to be undertaken around Victorian rail tunnels. The proposed operations were modelled and safe limits established for use of plant and excavation.
The input of our in-house Design Group also proved vital on the rationalisation and improvement of foundation design. Around the tunnels and under the existing Rotunda building we designed and installed complex temporary works to prevent structural damage and disturbance.
Before construction could begin, the old 1960s Bullring had to be demolished. Most of the 65,000 tonnes of concrete, 12,000 tonnes of steelwork and 205,000m3 of spoil was recycled across other projects.
Safe public access had to be maintained across the site throughout the construction period. We achieved this by designing a 230m long walkway founded on piles. As excavation was carried out around the walkway the piles acted as columns supporting what became an elevated walkway.
Our relationship with client The Birmingham Alliance, a partnership between Hammerson, Land Securities and Henderson Global Investors, extends over many years. The project team was largely made up of staff and supply chain partners who had worked together previously on the client’s West Quay Shopping centre in Southampton. This continuity proved invaluable when dealing with the additional complexities of the Bullring.
“At Bullring in Birmingham, Sir Robert McAlpine has demonstrated a highly successful team approach to the management of their supply chain. We have been pleased to see substantial benefits arising from these first class relationships, including the ability to open Bullring to the public two weeks ahead of programme.” - GH Wright, Construction Director of Hammerson
Winner of the Major Project of the Year category at the Quality in Construction Awards 2005, the judges hailed the project: “A truly seamless operation, the quality of the engineering was phenomenal.”
The Bullring also won Best Commercial Led Regeneration Project at the 2004 Regeneration Awards.