The Canal House, Birmingham

The James Brindley, a central Birmingham canal-side public house vacant for 8 years required teamwork and a visionary client to bring it back to life. New World Trading Company wanted to reconnect the site to its former industrial heritage from its 1980s facelift.

Historically the site was occupied by the Old Wharf terminus in the Gas Street basin of the Birmingham Canal where narrowboats picked up and off loaded their goods to continue their journey. This had been demolished to make way for the 1980s pub.

Plans were submitted for alterations to:

  • reclad the walls with reclaimed brick slips at ground floor and reclaimed heritage green timber boarding above with distressed/aged finish.
  • Replace the existing glazed arch shaped atrium with pitched corrugated steel/standing seam roof.
  • install industrial crane and hoist to the east and west elevations.
  • alter the existing doors and windows.
  • alter the existing footbridge including a rustic timber shingle roofing,
  • add a steel handrail and timber pergola structure to the upper floor terrace, and
  • re-surface the external terrace area.

A particular and unusual challenge was the design of the new roof with the crane and hoist. Brock Carmichael provided construction drawings for this as part of the shell works package.

Brock Carmichael’s role in the project was Architect and Design Coordinator and Construction Design and Management (CDM) as Principal Designer. The team also included Innov8 as CDM consultants, P4 Planning and Paul Danson Imagineering. Paul Danson worked with Brock Carmichael to develop the concept and the interior.

Plans were approved and the project completed to typically tight timescales. It opened in August ahead of the planned October 2017 as a destination bar and restaurant and has been instrumental in rejuvenating this area of Birmingham.

The Canal House remains a flagship property for New World Trading and a great place to go for an event or night out to admire the intriguing interior and canal side architecture.

Over a three year period of involvement with New World Trading, Brock Carmichael delivered twelve other Botanist Restaurants around the Country.

Photos courtesy of P4 Planning & Paul Danson Imagineering.