Birmingham’s ‘world first’ Octagon building set to be city’s tallest tower - here's when

We take a look at ‘World first’ pure octagonal building in Birmingham as it is months away from completion - overtaking the BT Tower as Birmingham’s tallest tower

The world's first pure octagonal high-rise residential building is now just months away from completion in Birmingham.

The huge 40 storey building costing £110m will become the city’s new tallest structure at 155 metres high with the core reaching level 40 and floor plates reaching 35.

When fully built, on Great Charles Street, Queensway, Octagon will overtake the BT Tower, on Lionel Street, which was completed in 1964 and is 142m high with 31 floors.

The main contractor is Midgard which has said that the pair of tower cranes have now reached their final height, allowing their workers to construct the remaining 10 floors of the building core ahead of its practical completion - scheduled for summer 2025.

The Octagon, which is part of the Paradise scheme around Chamberlain Square, has certainly attracted a lot of attention from far and wide - with people living in Elmdon in Solihull and Erdington telling how they can see it from their homes.

What the Octagon design team say about the structure

The Octagon has been designed by renowned local firm Howells Architects and backed by global real estate investor City Developments Limited (CDL) of Singapore. The design is said to be inspired by the metal-influenced workshops and products in the nearby Jewellery Quarter.

The building’s eight equal sides are intended to make it instantly recognisable on Birmingham’s skyline, with the designers explaining: “The shape of the building responds to the plot of land upon which it sits, maximising light in every home and creating unique appeal thanks to the utilisation of both views and space.”

They add: “The Octagon isn't just a feat of engineering; it's a testament to innovation in architectural design. As the world's first pure octagonal high-rise residential building, it stands as an example of progress and possibility in Birmingham.

“This milestone marks a significant leap forward in Paradise’s commitment to deliver a world-class estate and with a true mixed-use proposition by providing 370 spacious new Build to Rent (BtR) homes.

 "As a high-profile tall building with a world-first and highly sustainable design ethos, Octagon will become an important part of the city’s skyline for years to come," Ross Fittall, Paradise’s Commercial Development Director said. 

"We are creating a highly recognisable landmark for our city that will build on Birmingham’s growing reputation both at home and abroad, and the latest milestone in Octagon’s progress is something to celebrate."

Locals react to the Octagon - Birmingham’s soon-to-be tallest building

We had dozens of comments about the Octagon when we posted a picture of it on our Facebook page. One reader said: “It’s something unique to add to the city that no other UK city has got, like the Rotunda, Selfridges and the library.”

Another said: “They had to delay getting the cranes that's tall enough to do it they have to bring them overseas.” Some people were a little sceptical saying: “More glass ‘n’ concrete.” And: “Starting to look like Shanghai.”

Others just aren’t impressed with the design, saying: “Another garish blot on the landscape that probably looked ok at the planning stages a few years ago.”

Birmingham is the second fastest-growing city centre population in the UK, ahead of cities like Manchester and Leeds, with 7,000 new residential units either being built or planned across the city centre.

Here’s a look at Birmingham Octoagon under construction and how it set to look once completed:

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