Burlington’s Blue/Grey natural stone has been used to dramatic effect to help create a stunning centrepiece within the public realm of Birmingham’s Bullring, which today stands as Europe’s largest retail-led regeneration project.

The brainchild of Landscape Architects, Gross. Max. of Edinburgh, Burlington’s natural stone forms part of a dramatic water feature that has been created in St Martin’s Square at the heart of the 26-acre site.

It is here that three glass cubes - ranging in height from two, three and five metres - are partially clad in grooved the Burlington blue-grey stone.

In addition to seemingly cloak the cubes on three sides - each featuring a different coloured lightbox that has been ingeniously surrounded by stacked glass walls - Burlington’s natural stone has also been used to create a series of three interlinked 50mm deep pools; one at the base of each glass cube public artwork that are used to collect water as it cascades down the glass walls of the public artwork.

The use of falling water not only creates an aural experience, it also adds to the visual impact of water glancing off textured glass and into the stillness of the slate pools below. The atmosphere of what can best be described as a visual spectacle for the adjacent cafes around the square, has been further enhanced by each lightbox being lit in constantly changing hues of pink, orange and blue that contrast strikingly with the Blue/Grey colour of the Burlington stone.

Forming part of a major £2million investment programme in public artworks for Bullring that was developed for The Birmingham Alliance by arts consultants, Free Form Arts Trust, the water feature provides a strong counterpoint to the architecture of the flagship Selfridges building, not to mention the limestone terrace areas and a sloping granite piazza to the east and west which forms the setting of St Martin’s Church; also by Gross. Max.

Commenting on the specification of the Burlington stone, Gross. Max. project architect, Ross Ballard said: “The colour and texture of the Blue/Grey stone complements the overall design of the water feature perfectly. Whilst giving the appearance of gripping and wrapping around the glass cubes, it does so without detracting from the visual prominence of what is a colourful and vibrant creation.”

Bullring marks a new era of retail-led regeneration for British cities. At 110,000m2, Bullring is not only one of the largest retail developments to have been delivered in Europe for over a decade, it is the first time a scheme of such scale has been built in a city centre. Conceived and driven by The Birmingham Alliance – a partnership between Hammerson plc, Henderson Global Investors Limited and Land Securities Group PLC – the regeneration represents an investment of over £1billion.

For further information, please contact Burlington Slate on 01229 889 661

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