This competition winning design combines art and commerce to bring life to a new public space in the multi-million-pound Bullring development by the Birmingham Alliance.
The building form is inspired by the 13th century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci who identified the natural patterns of growth found throughout the universe, from the shapes of sea shells and pine cones to fractal patterns within galaxies. Illustrated graphically, the sequence forms a graceful spiral. The shape of the Café was derived from extruding this ‘golden’ spiral along a tilting axis to form a simple curved enclosure.
Like a shell, the exterior of the cafe is rough, rugged and durable patinated copper, whereas the inside is smooth and precious and lit by pearl-like glass spheres. The café was completed in October, 2004 to a wealth of positive press:
“It is common for regeneration projects to be enlivened by the commission of artworks and sculpture. The new cafe may not have been commissioned as an artwork but it certainly gives the same pleasure.” - Architects Journal 2004