Sunday, 22 April 2012

Big Peg

 


The Big Peg is a large rectangular sugar cube that crashed to the ground as a meteorite in the 1960's. Well, it might as well have. It is unlikely to win any awards for its styling. This box is as ugly as it gets but it is a landmark building and a very special one at that.

Birmingham City Council ripped up the nice terraced houses that were in the way and built this massive 100,000 square foot complex as a flatted factory for displaced jewellers and businesses. 

These days you would never get away with such a brutal act in the middle of what is effectively now a conservation area. Needless to say the scheme failed and the building was an embarassment for years.

 


Enter Bennie Gray, a forward thinking founder of SPACE Organisation. I would urge anyone remotely interested in the history of Birmingham to take a look at how the Space Organisation turned around the fortunes of the Big Peg and the Custard Factory.

The Big Peg gets it's name from what was a type of bench supplied to craftsmen of which many in the Jewellery Quarter would have owned and been familiar with. You can't miss the building. I mean its big. Very big. Just head for the Clock Tower in the Jewellery Quarter and see if you can spot it. 

The Big Peg has been completely refurbished inside. Despite its outside appearance it is surprisingly pleasant and spacious on the interior. There are many studios and offices of all types and sizes. The building is home to many 'one man bands' and small company operations. 

A combination of private enterprise and government funding has kept this place alive. The diverse and varied collection of a multitude of businesses within its walls makes this a very unique place indeed. 

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