Over the past year, we have all learned the impact our environment makes on our daily lives. Our success and well-being can be negatively impacted if our environment lacks opportunities for connection and community. As architects and interior designers, we believe in design's ability to facilitate connection and improve the health of a city and its residents.
We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, and we are proud to look back on the impact we have made and are making in our own environment.
In 2005, two of our firm’s Principals, Tammy Cohen and Richard Carnaggio, created their dream live/work space in the heart of Birmingham. Their residence is on the second floor of the building that houses the CCR Architecture & Interiors office space on First Avenue South along the Red Rock Trail System. Today, we are a 20-person team with over 2,000 projects throughout the Southeast under our belt; however, some of the most impactful work we have done is right in our backyard.
In addition to its rich history of industry and the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham's City Center is comprised of new and historic buildings that house a culture of innovation, a vibrant food and beverage scene, a world-class health system and public research university, and an increasing demand for urban living and amenities. Through creating density and walkability in the City Center, we can improve the quality of life of residents of Birmingham and the state of Alabama.
Since 1996, CCR has been committed to designing spaces that create opportunities for businesses and individuals to thrive in the City Center. From historic renovations of office and community space to new construction of mixed-use developments, our work contributes to creating a stronger, activity-rich downtown.
We have highlighted 10 projects that provide connectivity in Birmingham’s City Center below.
Above: Map of Birmingham's City Center with CCR projects marked in green and grey.
Collective: This renovated historic train depot houses Biso Collective,
collective of B2B, mission-critical SaaS businesses, and includes office space,
community space and meeting spaces. Biso helps guide SaaS businesses to
long-term success and, due to their belief that a strong culture is the key to
sustainability, their space is vibrant, collaborative, and multi-purpose. This
project is located in The Switch Innovation District adjacent to two of our
in-progress projects: the Pack Health office space and the Master Development
Plan for the Northwest Quadrant of downtown Birmingham, an area that is
critical to the economic and cultural future of the city.
2. Shipt Tower: As the second headquarters for Birmingham's most successful startup, Shipt Tower features six floors of office space, conferencing, and a gym open to all building staff. The first-floor Welcome Center is designed to facilitate collaboration and enhance the experience of Shipt’s local and out-of-town employees, clients, and partners.
3. Smile-A-Mile Place: Smile-A-Mile provides a place of respite for children undergoing cancer treatment and their families. The building is visible from Children’s Hospital so that the kids can have a visual connection to their families. The space includes a large community room, an arts & crafts room, a meditation room, and office space for Smile-A-Mile staff.
4. The Stockyard: This historic renovation in the Parkside District was defined by the hands-on approach by the owner and the reuse of materials such as discarded rusted barn siding, reclaimed Birmingham street trees, and shipping containers used to create interior space, including one turned vertical as a tower element and skylight. The combination of natural, aged material, and industrial elements are unique to this mixed-use office building and provide a refreshed look to a historic building.
5. Railroad Square: This project was a collaboration between owner, architect, contractor, and local artisans to reuse an existing structure, recycle materials, and create an innovative work environment. The design includes repurposed materials and materials salvaged from the damage caused by the 2011 tornadoes to create a unique multi-tenant office building.
6. 20 Midtown: This mixed-use development connects UAB and the City Center with retailers like Starbucks, Chipotle, and Publix with parking and apartments above. Building 1 and 2 were completed in 2016 and 2017, and the third building is currently in progress. This project enhances the pedestrian level by increasing walkability within the Parkside District.
7. The Battery: The Battery is a mixed-use development and adaptive reuse of a collection of attached BEBCO (Birmingham Electric Battery Company) buildings that includes a brewery, fitness studio, and restaurant space. This project bridges a gap between the lively areas of Lakeview and 20 Midtown and serves as a hotspot for residents and guests of the city to enjoy.
8. Lakeview Green: Currently under construction, this mixed-use development is located one block from Pepper Place and will include apartments, retail, and restaurants surrounded by green space. The public green space will feature a koi pond and pet-friendly area with firepits, social areas, herb garden, fitness center, and pool and serve as the only developed, public green space in Lakeview. This project will also provide connectivity to two projects we assisted with, Mayawell and Automatic Seafood, and create a pedestrian connection to Pepper Place.
9. The 2700 Building: The 2700 Building is a renovation of an under-utilized warehouse in the Lakeview District. CCR punctured the tilt-up concrete building with new, large glass panels and steel entry canopies to accommodate Dekalb office, a furniture showroom, two additional office tenants, and the furniture warehouse.
10. CCR Architecture & Interiors Live/Work Space: CCR’s live/work space is located on First Avenue South along the Red Rock Trail System. Given the site and location, concrete tilt-up construction was selected to work within the warehouse aesthetic, using steel floor framing, canopies, and balcony relating to the steel industry formerly in the area.
Over the years, our work in the city has always been in service of larger goals—to create a more robust City Center, connect communities, and enrich our collective quality of life.
Using our skills and passion to transform our environment is the best part of our job. We get to see the impact of our work firsthand and contribute to a community that has given us so much. We are proud to have been making a difference in Birmingham for 25 years and look forward to what we can do for our community in the future.