Architecture students fly with pigeon loft design


Birmingham’s pigeon community look set to have a cosy winter thanks to creative students from Birmingham City University.

The group of first year architecture student have designed a collection of unusual pigeon lofts, in conjunction with Project Pigeon in Digbeth.

The students investigated the behavioural nature of the birds, some from going to the park and observing them, whilst some went to flying club meetings to try and appreciate the characters of pigeon fanciers and how they would like their lofts to look. They then set about designing a range of lofts, with particular emphasis on the unique spatial character of Digbeth.

Project Pigeon – based in Milk Street in Digbeth - was set up in January 2009 by Alex Lockett and Ian England. They work with pigeons as a means to bring people together, through running workshops, performances and publications, racing in a pigeon club, and designing and building pigeon lofts. Alex said: ''The students really pushed forwards the idea of what a pigeon loft is and made some innovative and exciting designs. We showed some of our pigeon fancying friends the students work, they were equally impressed and wish they had a loft like some of them!''

Alessandro Columbano, lecturer at Birmingham School of Architecture, added: “The project came about after I sponsored one of Project Pigeon’s racing birds. From talking to the group about their passion, I realised the complexity and commitment involved in breeding pigeons, and I was surprised at how sensitive the training needed to be. We decided to use their hobby for a student project as it fitted in well with the students’ Year One theme of habitation.”

Birmingham School of Architecture celebrated its centenary in 2009 and has well-established links with the best local architectural, landscape architecture and urban design practices in the region. Its courses are fully validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Landscape Institute. Superb teaching facilities and a focus on practical skills ensured 93% of its 2009 students were in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Birmingham City University is running a major awareness campaign in the Midlands to demonstrate how it is upgrading the future of individuals and companies. To find out more visit

Project Pigeon will be open to the public from 1pm on Sunday 14th August for the Digbeth Fun Day, where the public can view the students’ finished lofts. The Digbeth Fun Day is co-organised by Project Pigeon and the Digbeth Residents Association, and will include live music and a barbeque.

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