While the city of Birmingham in central England doesn't always attract attention for its architecture, an impressive factory conversion by local developer Javelin Block caught the eye of both RIBA judges and superstar director Steven Spielberg. The nearly 9,000-square-foot space—which was featured in Spielberg's sci-fi film Ready Player One and used to launch Ed Sheeran's hit album—offers three self-contained residences, an artist’s studio, and an office space, along with vast entertaining areas.
The property's developer and current owner, Stuart Holt, worked in partnership with BPN Architects to transform the vacant building into a multiuse live/work space. "When I set out to redesign and reanimate this warehouse, it was for me and my stuff," he says. "I had no idea that it would resonate so strongly with people."
While Holt's collection of antiques and artwork fill the space, it's the building's original features that command attention—from a 35-foot-high atrium to exposed steel beams and brickwork. The renovation sought to retain as much of the structure as possible, including an industrial facade that is marked only by a nondescript garage door.
"Eight years ago, if someone had of told me Steven Spielberg and Ed Sheeran would have filmed in my living room, I'd of laughed at them," Holt adds.
Holt was also adamant that local craftsmen and tradespeople play a role in the redevelopment, helping to design bespoke pieces and finishes. Other details were reclaimed from various sources, such as old prison doors and copper lights that once illuminated the cabin of a submarine.
"It's been important to restore and reanimate a lot of these amazing buildings," Holt recently told the Birmingham Daily Mail. "With something like the Compound, I don't think you are ever the owner. I just think it's time to pass it on to somebody else."
The property is currently listed for £2,750,000 (approximately $3,655,000) with some furniture available as a separate purchase. Keep scrolling to see more of the interior—including the basement speakeasy and 25-seat cinema that Spielberg used as a screening room during his time on set.
Architect of Record: BPN Architects
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