The stunning exterior of the second phase of the award-winning School Yard scheme is beginning to emerge as the project heads towards completion later this year.

The multi-million pound scheme in Harborne is being clad in anthracite zinc – a first for a residential development of this size in Birmingham – with the eight-week zinc construction set to be complete by the end of July.

The 13 residential units – which include one, two and three bedroomed apartments and a townhouse – have been designed by Jewellery Quarter-based Bryant Priest Newman and have all already been sold to individual buyers.

EDG Property director Neil Edginton said the cladding marked an exciting new period for the development, which had been designed to work sensitively with the first phase of the scheme.

He said: “Creating extraordinary rather than ordinary buildings is what EDG Property is about and we feel that second phase of The School Yard is almost more important than the first because it is about creating something new that is sensitive to its surroundings rather than converting something that existed already.

“Bryant Priest Newman is one of the city’s most innovative architects and the application of zinc cladding will create a stunning finish on what are fantastically appointed apartments.

“The process itself is not necessarily a difficult one although it can be time-consuming as the fabricated zinc is bent to shape on site so it is more of a craft than other cladding systems.

“The guys who are carrying out the work do all of the fabrication on site, so it’s a much more crafted finish than manufactured, which again ties in the Listed elements in the first phase of the scheme.

“In total the cladding of the whole building will take around eight weeks so should be complete by the end of July. The roof has also now been completed and while there is still some external timber-work to finish, the major part of the project is now the internal fit out which we are hoping to have complete by mid-autumn.”

The countdown has begun for the grand unveiling of an art project that will give visitors to The Cube a real hoot – and help raise £250,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

From July 20 more than 90 5ft 5in specially decorated owls will go on display across Birmingham as part of the Big Hoot art trail.

Companies across the city have paid £6,000 each to sponsor an owl and each one is currently being decorated to the sponsor’s specification from 150 different possible designs.

There will be two owls gracing The Cube when the project is launched in late July as the owners of the building have sponsored one as has Marco Pierre White’s restaurant on the 25th floor.

Not surprisingly, for our owl at The Cube, we have chosen a design called Mr Architect – designed by Southampton-based artist Sam Pierpoint – which incorporates elements from key landmarks across the city including The Cube’s instantly recognisable gold cladding.

The project by arts specialists Wild at Art has really caught the imagination of the city and has even received the backing of one of Birmingham’s most famous sons Ozzy Osbourne whose son Louis was treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Working with Retail Birmingham, Ozzy has produced his own design for an owl that will be unveiled at an unknown location on July 20.

EDG Property director Neil Edginton, Tristan Capital’s joint venture partner on The Cube, and also chair of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said the response to the appeal had been overwhelming.

He said: “The children’s hospital is a real jewel in the city’s crown and that is recognised by the city’s businesses who relentlessly show their support by raising the essential funds for the hospital.

“Year after year we continue to be surprised at the generosity of this city and just this month we have a sports day organised by DLA and the Weslyan’s Big Bandage event which will generate more funds for the hospital’s Magnolia House appeal, to help build a facility that will support families at the hospital.

“The Big Hoot has been such a great idea and to get 90 different organisations involved has been nothing short of sensational.

“I’m really excited about the big reveal on July 20 and seeing Mr Architect take pride of place at The Cube for the rest of the summer.”

For more information on the Big Hoot please visit