For too long commuters to Birmingham’s coach station were greeted by concrete and a vileness that no passenger should have to pass through en-route to a major city. Thank goodness that is a thing of the distant past. In a couple of weeks time the spangly new Digbeth Coach station will open to the public and with it some fine pieces of art…

Designed by Rob Colbourne and Stuart Mugridge the ‘Boundary’ of the new coach station consists of 320 individual steel plated haunches stretching for 181 metres and rising in height from 2.2 metres to 6 metres. The initial design used community consultation at the concept development stage in order to distil some of the rich history of Digbeth into a contemporary installation with the overarching theme of ‘balance and flow’, reminiscent of Avery weights and scales which were based near the site. The colour of the fence is a homage to the famous Midland Red buses and its fabrication harks back to Birmingham’s industrial past. Spanning the perimeter and visible from various locations the ‘Boundary’ will have a dramatic impact on the aesthetics of Digbeth.

Irish Quarter Visual Art – the first visual representation for the Irish Quarter
Noted Irish artist, David Sherry will be unveiling his permanent installation on the exposed brickwork of 321 Bradford Street, at the entrance to the new National Express coach station. The textual artwork has been developed using the handwriting of Digbeth resident Sister Sabina and the traditional Irish greeting,  ‘Caed mil failte’ translated to ‘A hundred thousand welcomes’. The 10 metre by 7.5 metre installation will be a landmark for the Irish Quarter. It is fabricated from the innovative plastic composite ‘Made in Birmingham’.

Short Film
This film documents the development of the Digbeth Public Art Project and illustrates the collaborative processes between private, public, community and artistic interests and has been made by a group of young people as part of their Silver Arts Award Challenge.

Who would of guessed people might now WANT to visit the coach station out of desire rather than need. Go and take a look at the artwork and see the wonder that is Birmingham’s new and shiney transport hotspot.

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