Secrets of Birmingham’s new super tower – with rooftop restaurant, sunrise yoga sessions and breathtaking views

The new 18th-floor garden terrace in Birmingham’s city center could become a new home for honing yoga skills, 70 meters above the ground.

As they say in the keep-fit ​​world ‘Namaste’ – meaning ‘the light in me bows to the light in you’. So what better place to practice your bandha and chaturanga poses than on a 3,000 m² open-air terrace overlooking the entire city center before the rising sun?

The terrace is eight storeys lower than the top of the 346ft building, but still offers unparalleled and very impressive views over Birmingham city centre. The space is not only available for different purposes at different times for patio members and other tenants, but can also host public events.

Read more: Incredible sunrise photos taken from the roof terrace of Birmingham’s tallest office building

Andrew Hawkins, of Sterling Property Ventures, led the construction project while working the hot desk at the now five-year-old Alpha Works, high in Alpha Tower on the other side of neighboring Victoria Square.

Speaking to BirminghamLive during a breezy FacebookLive visit, Development Director Mr Hawkins said: “When it’s full there will be 2,500 to 3,000 people here and some days the (building) operator will open this up to everyone in the building so you don’t have to be a member to get on the terrace there will be private boardrooms and dining rooms and (here) yoga on maybe slightly less breezy days than today it will also be an event space where anyone can come along, you don’t need a renter or be a member to do so.



The front ‘block’ of 103 Colmore Row will be home to the 18th floor garden terrace – where yoga classes can be held

“”The top floor restaurant will be fantastic, the best table in town. It will get some very good sunsets and with true 360 ​​degree views it will be totally unique, an incredible space and a great asset to the city.”

BirminghamLive was recently invited to watch dawn from the terrace from 6:30am, but staying until 9am also allowed us to see the city in a literally very different light after Mr Hawkins joined us at 8am.

At one point, the sun turned the atmosphere into hazy fog that drained all the color from the cityscape, making it more in keeping with the city’s industrial heritage with almost sepia tones – only the still looming presence of the Rotunda soon gave away the game that this scene was after 1965 – as you can see in the selection of photos in our photo story below.



8.50am: Morning sun overlooking Victoria Square (with the Floozie in the Jacuzzi under cover), Birmingham Town Hall, Council House, Alpha Tower, One and Two Chamberlain Square in Paradise and the Library of Birmingham

In a more northeasterly direction, the terrace revealed why it could also be in demand during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Just before 9am, the sun produced a magical moment – reflecting off the roof of the Alexander Stadium, it turned the venue where the athletics events are held into the equivalent of a silver salver.

When you see things like that, you immediately know that this is where some of the international broadcasters should be. And beyond the Games, Hollywood filmmakers like Mission: Impossible A-lister Tom Cruise and directorial legend Steven Spielberg — who also shot Ready Player One in the city.

Construction secrets

It’s one thing to imagine the biggest office project outside of London, quite another to do it in the midst of a pandemic.

But that was the challenge Andrew Hawkins had overcome as he moved from fighting Brexit-related supply issues to coping with the effects of Covid-19 restrictions. Today, three years after work started in earnest and everyone was wondering about the impact of Brexit on the supply chain, the building is almost finished.

Mr Hawkins said: “We are all incredibly proud of what we have achieved but I don’t think we would want to do it again in a pandemic, hopefully the next one will be a little easier! The glass came from Italy but it turned out that that was our last concern with the pandemic. Funnily enough, our Brexit plan for the glass, which we thought would be held up, helped us through.”



The 18th floor terrace at 103 Colmore Row offers fantastic views for photographers - but can also be used for other yoga classes, including events
The 18th floor terrace at 103 Colmore Row offers fantastic views for photographers – but can also be used for other yoga classes, including events

Mr Hawkins added: “The key is always getting the tint and shade of the glass correct – and there are over 3,000 panels.

“It’s critical in a building like this, which is essentially all made of glass. It’s very important that we got it right. We are very aware that this building is in a conservation area next to buildings such as the town hall and the cathedral.

“We had to do it right and build what we said we were going to build. Not everyone will agree with tall, glass buildings, we get that… but I think old and new architecture can go together very well.”

So, when will it open? Mr Hawkins said: “The building is technically ready, some of our tenants are furnishing so we expect the first people in this building to start working with the restaurant in the summer of this year in April.”

And if that’s in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on July 28, you can be sure of where some of the world’s leading broadcasters are dining out!



February 23 at 8:54 am: The roof of Alexander Stadium reflects the sun for five months before the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be held there from July 28 to August 8
February 23 at 8:54 am: The roof of Alexander Stadium reflects the sun for five months before the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be held there from July 28 to August 8

Other Amazing Facts

Several crane operators were deployed to man the two cranes involved in lifting steel and glass piece by piece. They worked four hours a day every day to accommodate the need to climb those stairs and for toilet breaks.

The building value of the building was £87million, but other factors make it worth £100million – the same price Manchester City paid for now former Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. The top of the building is 805 feet above sea level and the 26-story building itself is 346 feet high – it has parking spaces for 34 vehicles and 92 bicycles.

There will be 7,665 square meters of restaurant space on the ground and upper floors, served by two elevators. The restaurant on the top floor will have a dedicated lift and both locations are leased to D&D London.



February 23 at 8:50 am: One small step towards yoga classes... concrete dust boots on the 18th floor of the massive new office building 103 Colmore Row overlooking Bennetts Hill, with the Radisson Blu / Beetham Tower in the distance
February 23 at 8:50 am: One small step towards yoga classes… concrete dust boots on the 18th floor of the massive new office building 103 Colmore Row overlooking Bennetts Hill, with the Radisson Blu / Beetham Tower in the distance

The first tenants in the building are:

  • Shoosmiths – law firm
  • Grant Thornton – Accounting and Consulting
  • Tilney Smith & Williamson – integrated wealth management and professional services group now changes its name to Eveyln Partners
  • Knight Frank – brokerage, advice for residential and commercial real estate
  • x+why – provider of flexible workplaces

The building is connected to the district heating system that provides low-carbon heat energy. All electricity supplied to the building comes from renewable sources.



Andrew Hawkins, director of development for Sterling Property Ventures on the 18th floor of 103 Colmore Row.  He led construction through the pandemic.
Andrew Hawkins, director of development for Sterling Property Ventures on the 18th floor of 103 Colmore Row. He led construction through the pandemic.

A custom app has been developed that enables contactless access to the building, virtual concierge services and booking of meeting rooms.

Sterling’s founders have more than 50 years of combined property and construction experience and the company’s Birmingham business includes The Colmore Building and 5 St Philips Place.

The architect for 103 Colmore Row was Doone Silver Kerr and worked with planning consultants GW Planning, contractors BAM, project managers Quantem Consulting LLP and investment managers Tristan Capital Partners.

Read more: Incredible photos from then and now show Broad Street’s dramatic transformation over the years

Watch: First images of the city’s swish new 103 Colmore Row tower from top to bottom

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