Spiceal Street has been a long awaited addition to the city centre. Perfectly positioned between Bullring and the St Martin’s Church, the new restaurant dining complex has been undergoing creation since March this year. The new selection of restaurants includes Birmingham’s first Brown Bar, ChaoBaby, a chic thai banquet-style outlet, locally-run Handmade Burger Co. and a Nandos, bringing a new dimention to St. Martin’s Square.
The complex features a modern, curved facade with a sweeping metallic design, including large glass panels allow an open-plan view of each restaurant and allow light from inside to warmly shine in the square. Spiceal Street’s architecture has obviously been designed with careful consideration for the area; though in line with the style of Bull Ring’s modern shape and silver spheres, the soft edges of the complex and natural wood surfaces are at the same time un-intrusive to the traditional beauty of the St Martin’s church.
The opening was an all day event reaching into the evening with a performance from innovative dance company Motionhouse. This particular performance was a ‘Machine Dance’ production called ‘Traction’, featuring dancers interacting with mobile JCB diggers in a hauntingly captivating display. Darting in and around the moving machines, the performers deftly embraced the large vehicles as part of their routine through various jumps, lifts and sequences, leaving the crowd looking on in amazement. The music from surrounding speakers was notably dark and charged, echoing the intensity of the display alongside dramatic sweeping spotlights on the performance area.
The dance was not only impressive due to the technical abilities of each of the dancers but in its complete originality. Aspects of modern industry and the place of man in relation to machine were inevitably triggered by the performance, perhaps providing a suitable accompaniment to the setting of modernity in the form of this new restaurant complex, placed in contrast with the age and tradition still made present by the church.
Spiceal Street has certainly brought a new zest to St. Martin’s Square. The sleek design and welcoming atmosphere brought about by the opening has established it as a potential landmark of Birmingham’s centre. Not only has it created more opportunities for good food and dining in the city, the appearance of Motionhouse and their memorable performance definitely created a new sense of diversity and culture to Bull Ring and the surrounding area.
Words by Anna Lumsden
24th Nov 2011