A team led by David Kohn Architects has been selected as the winner of an international competition to design a new home for the £1.5bn Birmingham Smithfield in the UK.

The team includes Eastside Projects, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Mark El-khatib, Charcoalblue, Price & Myers, WSP, Urban Space Management, Plan A Consultants and Max Fordham.

Expected to be the centrepiece of Smithfield development, the new markets will be positioned next to the Bullring and Digbeth. They will also be within walking distance from Birmingham’s existing New Street and future HS2 stations.

The jury for the competition included Birmingham City Council (BCC) Leader Ian Ward and renowned architect Amanda Levete.

The winning team was selected from more than 70 entries which were received from across the world. The competitors were asked to capture the ‘spirit and character of the market in a single image or sketch’.

The winning submission from David Kohn Architects is claimed to have recognised the importance of capturing the energy of the current markets and the wider city.

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The jury stated that the winning team had great vision, collaboration skills and energy.

Ward said: “As anticipated, this competition attracted an incredibly high standard of skill and creativity, but the winner clearly stood out as the team to take this exciting project forward with a collaborative approach that I am confident will bring out the very best of our fantastic city.”

David Kohn Architects director David Kohn said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Lendlease, Birmingham City Council and the wider community on such an important project for the city. Smithfield has been the productive centre of markets and makers since the foundation of Birmingham and integral to its success as the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’.

“We are looking forward to working with local businesses and communities to explore the future of markets and the city through this unique legacy.”

Lendlease is the preferred development partner for Birmingham City Council for Smithfield and the Markets. They are part of the council’s Big City Plan, a 25-year vision to develop the city into a world-class city centre.

Besides building new markets, the Smithfield development will also be home to leisure activities for families and include a new public square, integrated public transport and more than 2,000 homes with public park and community facilities.


The design of David Kohn Architects that won the competition. (Credit: David Kohn Architects).