Su Rogers


Groundbreaking deal unites gallery specialist John Miller and Sidell Gibson for 20-year museum project

Gallery specialist John Miller & Partners has forged a groundbreaking alliance with commercial practice Sidell Gibson, set to announce its first project next week.

John Miller and Su Rogers will work with Sidell Gibson on a 20 year masterplan for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, with a first phase of development of up to £15 million.

The two practices have been seeking joint projects for some months, and this is set to be their first success.

The marriage of convenience sees a practice renowned for its gallery work but now wanting to scale down its workload teamed up with a successful commercial practice looking to move into new fields (see box).

Richard Brearley, a partner with John Miller, is the only architect who will be moving across to Siddell Gibson as staff.

It is believed that Sidell Gibson has agreed to take on John Miller’s professional indemnity insurance liability as part of the deal which, it is hoped, will lead to further projects.

The two practices already have next door offices and will simply knock through to join their premises — though John Miller & Partners will remain independent.

Birmingham’s main museum, built in phases the late 1880s and early 1900s, contains more than 40 public galleries. There has been incremental development over the years, which has led to a confusing route around the gallery, and has left some areas in better condition than others.

“We are looking to come up with a really strong 20 year vision for the museum and art gallery, with an affordable first phase and an ambition to deliver the rest when the money is forthcoming,” said a museum spokeswoman.

Birmingham City was set to announce Sidell Gibson and John Miller’s appointment on Friday after BD went to press.

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