People will have the chance to view and have their say on the final shortlisted designs in an innovative competition to redesign one of Birmingham’s largest public spaces which are on display this week.

The competition, launched by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Landscape Institute on behalf of Birmingham City Council, offered architects and designers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the square into a cultural hub and desirable space where residents and visitors alike can relax and socialise.

Five designs were shortlisted from nearly 200 entries from around the world earlier this year, with the five finalists then each given £5,000 to develop their initial concepts into detailed proposals.

These proposals are on public display at the Library of Birmingham until Saturday, May 30. The exhibition takes place on the third floor and is accessible during the library’s opening hours of 11am to 5pm (7pm on Tuesday).

Additionally, members of the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite design, both at the exhibition itself and online at The outcome of this public consultation will be taken into consideration by the judging panel when they make their final assessment.

The five finalists are:

  • Atkins, Birmingham
  • Barton Willmore, Reading
  • Broadway Malyan, Birmingham
  • Graeme Massie Architects, Edinburgh
  • Open Studio Architects with United Visual Artists, London

They will present their designs to the judging panel on June 5, with the winner being selected by the end of June.

Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council and a member of the judging panel, said: “The response to this competition has been phenomenal and the standard of designs submitted has been exceptionally high, making the judging process all the more difficult.

“One of these five finalists will see their design become reality, transforming Centenary Square into a place where people will stop, relax and socialise, rather than simply passing through. I hope that as many people as possible will take this opportunity to come and view the final designs and have their say on how a key area of their city will look.

“With planned improvements to transport links and other major development projects in the pipeline for Birmingham, these are exciting times for our city.”

Chris Webster, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Board director, said: “I am extremely impressed by the quality of the five designs. Each of them presents a different vision of how this important public space in the heart of Birmingham could be transformed. I hope that as many people as possible share their views on the proposals to help us choose the winner. We want the design to befit the iconic and historic buildings around Centenary Square and create a space that those of us who live, work and visit the city can enjoy.

“The redevelopment of the Centenary Square is part of a £30 million city centre public realm improvement programme that is being funded via the GBSLEP’s £275 million Enterprise Zone investment plan. We recognise that whilst driving development and job creation is important, we also need to create attractive open spaces too if we are to improve the quality of life of local people and attract further investment to the city.”

Work to implement the winning design, once it has been chosen, will be carried out by Thomas Vale in partnership with Fitzgerald Civil Engineering, both Birmingham-based contractors.