Shortlisted in AJ Projects Awards 2023
Client Moda Living
Contractor John Sisk & Son Ltd
Architect Glen Howells Architects
Interior Designer Naomi Cleaver Design
On the former site of The Click Club, The Mercian stands 42 storeys high offering high quality rental homes at scale right in the heart of the city of Birmingham. Inspired by the quality high rise buildings of Chicago, Glen Howells Architects together with Moda Living set out to deliver a landmark for the city. The Mercian with 481 apartments is the highest residential tower in Birmingham and it is excellently located opposite Brindley Place and all the canalside amenities there.
The entrance leads into a triple height glazed atrium, which was conceived by Naomi Cleaver Design as a cultural hub to commemorate the former iconic Click Club from where many well known bands including Duran Duran launched their careers!
Naomi Cleaver Designs were already familiar with Ketley quarry tiles and felt they were a local product that would fit well in the context of this city centre location. It was important for main contractors John Sisk that the tiles would withstand the weight of the access equipment, in particular a Nifty lift that would be used as part of the building’s ongoing maintenance strategy to clean the central atrium rooflight, and they requested information on the flexural strength of Ketley quarry tiles. The tiles were subsequently tested to determine the “modulus of rupture”, or maximum load capacity that the tiles could take before they would fail. The results were extremely good, perhaps not surprisingly as the tiles are made from the same clay and in the same factory as Ketley engineering bricks, renowned to be the toughest bricks in the country!
Ketley brown brindle rectangular quarry tiles are bordered by Staffordshire blue tiles and the border is further set off by a change in the laying bond. The use of a small format tile within this large space brings a more domestic scale to this area which is designed to provide a cosy venue for tenants to congregate and relax together.