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Travelodge, Fort Dunlop

Fort Dunlop is a landmark building next to the M6 motorway, near to junction 5. It is a 350,000 square foot, Grade A locally listed building that was originally designed by Sidney Stott and W.W. Gibbings in the 1920s.

From the late 1970's, the building lay derelict until Urban Splash, developers well known for their innovative approach to developments, acquired the building and 4 hectares of land from English Partnerships in 1999.

Urban Splash appointed award-winning shedkm as the architectural practice to bring the building back to life. The plan was to provide a mix of retail and office space with an adjoining hotel.

Together, they began to work their magic. Liverpool-based Hazel Rounding, lead architect at shedkm, applied the best of modern design and materials to the project to produce a striking architectural statement.

Urban Splash and shedkm kept the best of the original and combined this with the best of contemporary design, with the addition of the stunning extension. The shell of the original, concrete-clad, steel frame building was retained and a glass structure built behind it together with a circular light well, to allow natural light to illuminate the centre of the building.

The 10-floor, 100-bedroom extension, housing the Travelodge hotel, extends 170 metres from the building, and has a width of just 8 metres. It was built by applying StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system onto lightweight steel frame. This iconic building works with, rather against, the depth of the building, where the front provides a seamless appearance in striking blue render, whilst the 100 porthole windows of the hotel are located to the back of the building.

Key Facts:

  • Largest expanse of seamless external wall insulation in Europe.
  • An illuminated, award-winning sign saying "FORT DUNLOP" was added to the top of the structure.
  • The largest living grass roof in the United Kingdom which provides natural insulation and a wildlife reserve.
  • The biggest floor plates outside the M25, each floor of Fort Dunlop is well over an acre, with a total 300,000 sq ft of office space.
  • 'Fort Dunlop' is the common name of the original tyre factory and head office of Dunlop Rubber in Erdington, Birmingham. It was established in 1917 and by 1954, the entire factory area employed 10,000 workers.

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Travelodge, Fort Dunlop

See the project page for Travelodge, Fort Dunlop.

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