A glimpse into the first pure octagonal high-rise residential building in the world

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The world’s first pure octagonal high-rise residential building is currently under construction in Birmingham, a city in the West Midlands region of England, approximately 160 kilometres from London. To be precise the building, dubbed Octagon, is being built on Great Charles Street, Queensway, as part of the Paradise redevelopment scheme.

According to Midgard, one of the principal residential contractors in London and the Octagon project’s main contractor, the high-rise residential building is now just months away from completion. A pair of tower cranes, Midgard said, has reached their final height allowing their workers to construct the remaining 10 floors of the building core ahead of its practical completion scheduled for summer 2025.

This will be approximately 44 months since the construction of the £110m building began in December 2021 with the demolition of 77 Paradise Circus Queensway.

Upon completion, Octagon will become not only the city’s tallest building but also the tallest nonbuilding structure in Birmingham at a height of 155 meters and 49-storeys. Currently, the tallest building in Birmingham is The Mercian, a 132-metre residential tower located in Birmingham’s Westside district while the tallest non-building structure is the 140-metre BT Tower.

Formerly known as the Post Office Tower and the GPO Tower, BT Tower is a landmark and telecommunications tower situated at 40 Lionel Street, Birmingham.

Octagon design overview

The Octagon was designed by Howells Architects, an ambitious group of architects, designers and makers working throughout the UK and internationally, and backed by City Developments Limited (CDL), a leading global real estate company with a network spanning 163 locations in 29 countries and regions.

The design is said to be inspired by the metal-influenced workshops and products in the nearby Jewellery Quarter, Europe’s largest concentration of businesses involved in the jewellery trade. Fun fact, Jewellery Quarter produces 40% of all the jewellery made in the UK.

The shape of the building according to the designers responds to the plot of land upon which it sits, maximizing light in every home and creating unique appeal owing to the utilization of both views and space. Furthermore, the designers said that the Octagon isn’t just a feat of engineering but also a testament to innovation in architectural design.

As the world’s first pure octagonal high-rise residential building, the designers said it stands as an example of progress and possibility in Birmingham.

The Paradise Redevelopment scheme

The Octagon is a part of the Paradise redevelopment scheme, a high-quality mixed-use development that is coming up on a 69,000m2 site located between the Council House, Town Hall and Museum & Art Gallery and the business and entertainment zones further west.

The approximately £1bn development comprises ten individually designed buildings and almost 185,000m2 of high-quality commercial, retail, leisure and hotel space, all set in a superbly crafted public realm, truly befitting its exemplary historical setting.

It is being carried out in phases the first of which was completed in 2020. The implementation of the second phase, of which Octagon is a part of, began in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2025. The third phase and the entire project at large is expected to be completed in 2028.

The milestone achieved with the Octagon marks a significant leap forward in Paradise’s commitment to delivering a world-class estate with a true mixed-use proposition by providing 370 spacious new Build to Rent (BtR) homes.

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