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The Bullring, Birmingham

944 of 1170 nominations


The Bullring, Birmingham

Is this an icon?


The Bullring, Birmingham

The Bullring shopping complex that opened in the centre of Birmingham in 2003 arose triumphantly from the rubble of its unloved 1960s predecessor. Whereas the original building was of the concrete block school of architecture that people never quite took to their hearts, the new centre is a glass-roofed retail paradise. Built at a cost of well over £500m, it was under some necessity to justify itself, but has done so by becoming the most visited shopping complex outside London. The jewel in the designer crown is the Selfridges store, a curvilinear vision clad in 15,000 aluminium discs (and nominated as an Icon in its own right). Still towering over the whole complex is the Rotunda, the one survivor of the original site, a 265ft tall, cylindrical office block.

Trading has been the main activity on this site ever since the Middle Ages, when a cattle market was first established here (hence the name, and hence the proudly gleaming bull statue that stands before it today). These days, you’re more likely to be in the market for a designer crop-top than a healthy young heifer, but whatever the wares, the Bullring hopes to release in you the timeless urge to spend.


Your comments

one of the most dramatic buildings in the world.


Just fantastic! It just shows how Birmingham has revived itself, shook off its grey depressed image and bought itself into the 21st century with the most stunning architecture you will see anywhere in the world! Birmingham has done the UK proud and we should all be proud for this great city.
Michelle Dean

The proud, defiant Bull that gleams before the Bull Ring not only epitomises the fighting, steadfast spirit of the Midlands but also of the whole nation. It stands as a monument to the past (our previous Bull Ring) yet it also is at the forefront of our future; the regeneration of our cities.
Matthew Beard

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My nomination is the garden shed.