103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row


A layered 3D elevation artwork portraying the Natwest Tower designed byJohn Madin Design Group, 1975. A mixture of birch and timber plywood is used to represent the stunning composition of this controversial concrete building which was unfortunately demolished in 2016.

Comes mounted and framed in a black box frame

Material: Birch Plywood

Size: 39cm high x 31cm wide.

Edition size: 50

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103 Colmore Row (aka NatWest Tower & formerly National Westminster House) was located on the corner of Newhall Street and Colmore Row, Birmingham. The building was the former central branch of NatWest bank; designed in 1964 by John Madin, and constructed in two phases between 1969 and 1974. Soaring 80m high and with 23 floors, the building became a prominent feature of Birmingham’s skyline – becoming the tallest structure within the Colmore Row Conservation Area. Moreover, the brutalist design provided a stark contrast to the surrounding Victorian-style buildings.

The entire site was formerly owned by NatWest Bank, but the building was designed to allow for shared occupation - maximising profitability of the plot. A two-storey banking hall forms the podium and creates the street frontage whilst an L-shaped tower set back from the main street sits above. This is all clad in coarse pre-cast concrete panels. A separate access to the tower is located on Newhall Street. The tower is split with three varied heights that wrap around the northern corner; the lower 16-storey section pushing forward over the banking hall and stepping up to the 21 storey section on the north side. The service shafts (including stair cores and lifts) are clad in plum-coloured brickwork giving contrast to the pre-cast concrete and definition to the tower’s form.

Attempts were made to get the building listed, but have been unsuccessful and insufficient use of the building has led to a new proposal for the plot. 103 Colmore Row has been described as "the most important Brutalist commercial building in the city, disastrous in context but with its own tremendous integrity." This is a sad loss for the heritage of Birmingham with one of the most prominent brutalist buildings disappearing.