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A scheme and model which could be rolled out across the city’. That was the response at the stakeholder crit to initial proposals for new family homes in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Sally Robertson from our design partners MADE wrote this blog. MADE have received a grant from Cabe’s Design Your Neighbourhood programme to work with the community in designing new, affordable ,self-build family homes in the Jewellery Quarter.

At MADE we are involved in a project that, on one hand, is about finding a solution to the desire for family housing in the Jewellery quarter. However, it is also about coming up with new ideas for how to redevelop some of the small-scale vacant sites which pepper the area.

Partnering with young architects

To design the new homes, we are working with a group of built environment graduates looking for work, known as MADEGrads.  The MADEGrads chose to focus on a site on Northwood Street. The site is currently used as a surface car park and so potentially viable for development. It’s also typical of many development sites to be found locally.

Giving families the space they need

The MADEGrads’ designs offer 11 units of 3 bed flexible family homes with parking. The students’ designs offer a secure family environment with private outdoor space so coveted by families. Raised living spaces enhance views and light. The homes are designed with flexibility in mind, so that as families’ needs change so they can change the layout and use of the space inside their homes.

students work

Some of the students’ designs for new family homes.

Giving local familities the homes they wnt

Residents of the Jewellery Quarter would like more family homes.

Getting everyone involved

The chances of successfully developing the students’ designs into new family homes have been increased by the local sense of ownership for this project.

The local community have been keen to get involved in developing the designs

The local community have been keen to get involved in developing the designs.

We’ve run several exhibitions and consultation events, including at the Jewellery Quarter farmers' market before Christmas.

We’ve run several exhibitions and consultation events, including at the Jewellery Quarter farmers’ market before Christmas.



We’ve been seeking expert advice through a recent stakeholder crit attended by local property experts, the Homes and Communities agency and affordable house builders.  At the crit the professionals helped the MADEGrads decide on the most viable of three proposed masterplans, advised on the layout of the homes and began discussions on the economic feasibility of the scheme.

All in all, the project is on course to deliver exciting, realistic proposals for new affordable homes in the Jewellery Quarter. It will provide the local neighbourhood forum with inspirational designs they can use to look for funding and to help get the homes built. The next stage will be to work with the local authority, the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust and affordable house-builders to move the project forward.

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