Sunday 27 May 2012

Five Ways Tower

Five Ways Tower in Frederick Street is a modern office block designed by architect Philip Bright. Its location near the Five Ways island and Broad Street should have guaranteed its future as a prime location for commercial office space in the city.
Unfortunately the building has been empty for a number of years following the evacuation of the previous occupants who suffered from Sick Building Syndrom (SBS), a condition which is believed to be caused as a result of poor indoor air quality and light. The World Health Organization suggests that up to 30% of new and refurbished buildings may be linked to symptoms of SBS.
Five Ways Tower was completed in 1979. It is 76 metres ( 249 ft ) in height and comprises of 23 floors of office accommodation.
There seems little chance of the building being used again in its present form and demolition seems to be the most likely prediction for this landmark building.
Due to the problems with SBS it cannot be converted to residential use and planners are unlikely to find a solution to the problem which is deeply rooted in the current design structure and layout.
The Edgbaston Shopping Centre is earmarked for re-development which will also include the surrounding area and inevitably lead to a decision being made on Five Ways Tower and its future.

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