The Birmingham suburb of Digbeth is about to become the unlikely site of an attempt to recreate one of the wonders of the ancient world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Although it is not know where the original gardens were built, or whether they existed at all, the London firm Architects of Invention was sufficiently inspired by the idea to design a $90m, 38,500 sq m residential complex for the city’s students as two staggered 25-storey towers, with planted terraces at every level.
The two blocks are made of cross-laminated timber, which Architects of Invention describe as an "exercise in highly sustainable construction".
The project, which was commissioned by Chinese private equity fund PGC Capital, will be an "oasis-like residence" for Birmingham’s growing student population.
The residential units are small, but there are large shared facilities for communal living and working, including music recording studios and small rental units for start-up businesses.
Of the 500 residential units, 300 will be one-bed studios measuring between 40 and 50 sq m, and 200 will be two-beds measuring up to 75 sq m.
The scheme will be located 10 minutes walking distance from central Birmingham. It is also located close to the Custard Factory, home to a number of media companies, artists and small creative enterprises.
The scheme is presently the subject of pre-planning talks with Birmingham city council.
Images courtesy of Architects of Invention