I was recently contacted by some students from Birmingham School of Architecture and asked to take part in an exhibition they’re organising called Made in Birmingham for an upcoming RIBA/BAA event. The request was simply to pick my favourite building in the city and provide a 50 word explanation. Here’s what I’ve just submitted:

Bournville Junior School Carillon

Bournville Junior School

It lifts the soul every time I see it. Bulky swaggering scale, delicate details, bold asymmetry, endearing charm and a machine on the roof worthy of a Dr Who episode. Also, in these dark times we all need reassuring that the free market can occasionally be philanthropic. Different George though.


4 years of twittering efficiency encouraged me to go for exactly 50 words. I hope my fellow architects are equally precise. I’ve never been inside however and this is gut instinct stuff about how I feel when I drive past. To my utter delight it turns out that the machine on the roof, the Carillon itself, sounds perfectly like the synesthetic stimulation of the very swagger, delicacy, asymmetry and charm I’m describing above.

It even has its own facebook page: Bournville Carillon