Inthought-Nine-Birmingham Retrospective

An exhibition of a series of photographs by Tim Cornbill will be held as part of this year’s LA:B Love Architecture Birmingham Festival. The festival runs from the 21st – 30th June and is organised by the Birmingham Architectural Association in collaboration with the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). The photographs will be exhibited in the Great Western Arcade with a supplemental display in the Atrium of The Cube.

The project compares the historical architecture of Birmingham with its modern day locations. It offers an insight into how the urban fabric of Birmingham changed during the twentieth century, documenting the city’s lost architectural gems, which were demolished and replaced in the name of progress.

Platform 7, Birmingham New Street, 1885
Tim Cornbill, 2013
Historical Photograph: Unknown – Credit to original photographer
The Station was built in 1854 to replace Curzon Street Station. The platform shown was an extension to the original station in 1885, and the photograph displays the first of two trussed arched roofs, smaller in scale to that of the main station, that spanned from platform 1 to 5.

Inspiration:

Following a trip to Paris photographing film locations in a similar fashion, Tim realised he could use archive photographs in his home city to discover its historical architecture. Many people have described these series of photos as an architectural ‘Dear Photograph’, referring to a project that uses personal historical photographs in the same style.

Img 2 Incep

Inception, Paris
Tim Cotnbill, 2012

 The Venue:

The Great Western Arcade was chosen as the prefect venue in which to showcase the  Birmingham Retrospective series. It represents one of the last surviving arcades of the 1900s and is a great example of how a stunning piece of classical architecture can be maintained to stand the test of time.

North Western Arcade, Birmingham, 1896 Tim Cornbill, 2013 Historical Photo: Unknown - Credit to original photographer (Book scan) The arcade used to run to the south of the Great Western Arcade, and was built in a similar classical style of its successor. Tim Cornbill, 2013 Historical Photo: Unknown - Credit to original photographer (Book scan) The arcade used to run to the south of the Great Western Arcade, and was built in a similar classical style of its successor.

North Western Arcade, Birmingham, 1896
Tim Cornbill, 2013
Historical Photo: Unknown – Credit to original photographer (Book scan)
The arcade used to run to the south of the Great Western Arcade, and was built in a similar classical style of its successor.

The Evolution of Architecture:

It must be noted that although many of the historical buildings in these photographs were beautiful externally, the sad fact is that many were doomed due to bomb damage, poor maintenance and were also victims of the changing economic needs of a city that was, and still is, constantly growing and regenerating. After all, the motto of Birmingham is of course, “Forward”. To this end, this series of photographs serve as a document of a proud architectural heritage. Even the retrospective photographs taken today will eventually prove to be an insight into an urban realm which will once again have changed. It would be interesting to visit the same locations again in 50 years’ time to observe how they have altered.

Mason College, Edmund Street, 1960 Tim Cornbill, 2013 Historical Photograph: Phyllis Nicklin Mason Science College was built in 1880. The college was founded by Josiah Mason in 1875 and incorporated into the University of Birmingham in 1990. The building was demolished to make way for the Paradise Circus development.

Mason College, Edmund Street, 1960
Tim Cornbill, 2013
Historical Photograph: Phyllis Nicklin
Mason Science College was built in 1880. The college was founded by Josiah Mason in 1875 and incorporated into the University of Birmingham in 1990. The building was demolished to make way for the Paradise Circus development.

About the Photographer:

Tim Cornbill is currently in the final stages of qualification to become an architect, and works at a local practice, Associated Architects, based in The Mailbox. Tim is fascinated by Birmingham and it will always be a city that is close to his heart, even if its desire to progress is often, sadly, at the expense of great pieces of architecture.

The Exchange Building, Stevenson Street, 1867 Tim Cornbill, 2013 Historical Photograph: Warwickshire Railways The photograph is taken at the junction of Needless Alley with New Street. The historical building shown is in the position of the current ramp which leads up to the Pallasades shopping centre. Built in 1965 to a design by Edward Holmes and extended in 1878, the Gothic building was used as an exchange place for the merchants of the city.

The Exchange Building, Stevenson Street, 1867
Tim Cornbill, 2013
Historical Photograph: Warwickshire Railways
The photograph is taken at the junction of Needless Alley with New Street. The historical building shown is in the position of the current ramp which leads up to the Pallasades shopping centre. Built in 1965 to a design by Edward Holmes and extended in 1878, the Gothic building was used as an exchange place for the merchants of the city.

Thanks:

Thank you to all the photographers who have kindly agreed to the use of their historical images for Birmingham Retrospective. Without their support this project would not have been possible.

Tim would welcome further contributions of archive photography in order to expand this project, as he has only just scratched the surface in terms of Birmingham’s architectural past.

Img 6 K-K

King Kong, Bullring, 1972
Tim Cornbill, 2013
Historical Photograph: Peter Reynolds
The statue of King Kong stood in the Bullring for 6 months in 1972, and after many further owners it is currently lying in a Car Park in Penrith. Discussions with its current owner are now under way with the aim of returning the sculpture to Birmingham on a temporary loan.

Exhibition:

The photos are on display in the Great Western Arcade from the 22nd to the 30th June, 10am to 4pm Weekends and 12pm to 2pm Weekdays.

Links:

There is a private viewing of the exhibition on the 21st June, 6pm to 8pm, which you can register for here: http://birminghamretrospectiveprivateview-eorg.eventbrite.co.uk/

In addition, photographs from the Birmingham Retrospective project are also on public display in The Cube for the duration of the festival 24/7.

Tim is running two walking tours of the lost architecture of Birmingham on the 22nd and 29th at 2pm. There are limited places available for these and you need to register here:

http://birminghamretrospectivetour-eorg.eventbrite.co.uk/#

http://birminghamretrospectivewalkingtour29-es2.eventbrite.co.uk/?rank=1#

You can also download the Walking Architecture BAApp for your phone to find the locations of many of the buildings featured in Birmingham Retrospective.

Please take a moment to browse http://www.lovearchitecture.org/ to find out about other events taking place across the West Midlands and throughout the UK.

The full compliment of photographs for the project can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/polyesterpowdercoated/sets/72157632029778041/

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