The Lewis Building


The Lewis Building is an architype of 21st century office design. Through introducing creative interventions whilst respecting the building’s best qualities, EPR has given the scheme a new identity founded in the grandeur of its industrial heritage. A treasured institution of the 1920s, The Lewis Department Store stood as one of the grandest buildings in Birmingham. Famed for its bellboys and a rooftop playground inhabited by wild animals, it offered a taste of 34th Street New York which had subsequently been lost during its remodeling for office use in the 1990s.

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Our brief was to recapture the building's original character, transforming it into a statement and majestic landmark whilst providing the type of exemplary office accommodation and service demanded by modern occupiers.

The grandeur and style of the original Lewis Department Store has been restored through a sensitive and sustainable design to deliver over 113,000ft² of prestigious Grade A office accommodation set in the thriving Colmore Business district. Through careful remodelling, the building’s core has been reconfigured to provide the most efficient layout and accommodate a higher proportion of facilities to meet the 1:8 occupancy density.

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A new double-height entrance creates an arrival experience worthy of one of the best headquarters in the city; featuring an impressive canopy and elegantly proportioned glazing to create a dynamic and open frontage. The new lobby incorporates a library, meeting area, visitors lounge and an open exhibition space that can be used for bespoke events.

Beautifully finished using a contemporary palette of layered textures and colour to create interiors for the varying occupier spaces, the final product reinterprets the structures rich historical styling and celebrated the rebirth of the majestic building for 21st century office use.

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A new seventh floor has been added with terraces to all sides and designed to open into the Minories arcade, enabling the space to be used all year round. The building’s operation and construction processes have all been carefully considered to achieve a high level of sustainability, featuring low energy lighting and high efficiency heating, air-conditioning, water supply and ventilation systems for a minimum BREEAM certified rating of ‘Very Good’ and EPC Grade B.

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Client: Legal & General Investment Management | Services: Architecture | Size: 113,000ft²