Project Description: The 690m² facility was commissioned by the West Midlands Police to be its main Silver/Gold Command Centre for the coordination and control of major national incidents or events. The completion of the facility was critical so as to be ready for the Pope’s visit to Birmingham and a month later the Conservative Party Conference.
Due to the sensitive nature of the facility the building had to be considered to be a potential target for terrorism and therefore had to be designed accordingly. Therefore the buildings orientation was such that the most vulnerable areas were furthest away from the nearby road and designed to overcome the potential threat of overlooking.
The building is gently dug into the site with the removed soil forming a tree lined landscaped bund around the building. This reduces the visual impact and public presence on the road frontage and helps to mitigate the vehicular threat to the building. There were further design constraints imposed on the building in that it was located within the Calthorpe Estate and surrounded by conservation areas.
Internally the main Event Room is timber lined in birch faced acoustic panels and designed to be welcoming and calming in response to the extreme pressure the occupants may be under during their coordination of external events.
Externally two elevations are tile clad with one elevation almost fully glazed. The green roof is seeded with a mixture of wild grasses to help immerse the building into its green field setting.