In 1926, the city council organised an open competition for the new layout of the Civic Centre, however, many of the designs were deemed 'Too Ambitious'. As a result, the city engineer was asked to work with the architects of the Hall of Memory, S.N. Cooke, to create a better design. T. Cecil Howitt of Nottingham was asked to design the first building, which was to become Baskerville House. This was approved in 1936 and construction began in 1938. It became the only component to be built from the plan for the Civic Centre which would have covered all of Centenary Square and the Convention Centre, and included the Masonic Hall (1926-7 Rupert Savage) (vacated Central Television building) and Birmingham Municipal Bank (recently TSB) building (1931-3 also T. Cecil Howitt) on Broad Street. World War II halted construction of Baskerville House (hence the rear brick wall, intended to be temporary), and after the war the use of Roman Imperial imagery on public buildings went out of fashion. A 1941 model of the proposed Civic Centre, designed by William Haywood, Secretary of The Birmingham Civic Society, is displayed in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
The building was subsequently sold to Targetfollow who proposed to convert into offices. This was approved and it was completely gutted and extended two floors upwards to provide office space on seven floors, and a health club in the basement. Work started in August 2003 and was completed in early 2007 at an estimated cost of £30 million. There is of office space within the building with floorplates of . The two new floors are of steel and glass. A lighting scheme was added to the exterior by Hoare Lea Lighting of the Hoare Lee group who were also commissioned for other aspects of the build.
The building won the Commercial Development of the Year award at the Midlands Property Week awards in July 2007. The building also won the Midlands and East Anglia regional award in the Refurbished/Recycled Workplace category at the British Council for Offices awards in October 2007.
Historic Rebuild Breaks Mould; BASKERVILLE HOUSE Targetfollow's Ian Fox Explains the Importance of Baskerville House to Birmingham
Jan 18, 2007; Byline: Ian Fox This is undoubtedly an historic day for Targetfollow. There have been many exciting times for the company in the...