Saturday, May 25, 2024

Visitors Kiosk – 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago the June 1997 issue of The Hockley Flyer carried a report on the ‘Jewellery Quarter Information Pavilion’, which is reproduced here:

‘Jewellery Quarter – Information Pavilion

At the time of going to print, the eighteen students from the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture are progressing well with the work on the information pavilion that they have designed for the Jewellery Quarter.

The students from seven different countries will have had only three weeks to complete the building.

Many of them have no previous building experience, but they are undertaking the project as part of the Institute’s radical holistic approach to architectural education. Uniquely, the Institute provides students with a chance to experience the whole process of building; from the drawing board to construction, through working on live projects with hands-on experience of building materials.

The brief, from Bennie Gray, owner of The Big Peg, was for “an exquisite pavilion, centrally located, to serve as a visitor centre in Hockley”. The visitor centre will house information on local businesses, events and places of interest.

Working as a team, the students designed the octagonal pavilion in just four days and then went on to draw up the construction details, each working on different aspects of the building. The pavilion is designed to reflect the jewellery heritage of the district, it will be beautifully coloured and have a copper roof, decorated to reflect the tradition of cast metal jewellery for which the Jewellery Quarter is renowned.

The pavilion has been generously supported by John Sisk and Sons Ltd., Bennie Gray, Birmingham City Council, The Assay Office, The Patrick Trust, The Jewellery Quarter Association, Silk and Frazier, The Goldsmith’s Company and Temple Cox Nicholls (architects).

Notes on Institute of Architecture: The Institute was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1992 in order to research, create, teach and promote ways of bringing about an improvement in the quality of the built environment.

It is based in central London and has 65 full-time students studying Architecture and the Building Arts, and the Traditional Arts. It runs short courses in Urban Design and Traditional Art in various countries, throughout the world. It also runs an extensive public programme of lectures, seminars, forums, exhibitions and publications.’

HRH Prince Charles personally ‘opened’ the Kiosk but unfortunately we have no photo of this as Marie was on holiday at the time. The Kiosk itself has been refurbished a few times during the ten years and the unsuccessful computerised screen was finally abandoned. One thing the ‘budding architects’ missed however was failing to put in rainwater guttering!

Mary, who ‘runs’ the Kiosk now, does a wonderful job and has turned the kiosk into a kind of ‘Tardis’, changing the inside of the kiosk regularly to keep up with calendar events, etc.

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The Hockley Flyer magazine if entirely funded by the advertising, but we could always do with a little bit more funding. The advertising not only pays for the design/printing, but also postage, delivery, all the associated paperwork/accounts, and research for the Heritage section. Our subscribers pay only a bit more then the postage/mailing costs, and the magazines are free - no cover price.

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