Inside abandoned skyscraper condemned as ‘sick building’ and left to rot

News

Urban explorers have given a fascinating insight into the amazing views of an abandoned skyscraper which has been left to rot.

The 23-storey block has been labelled a blot on the landscape with many calls over the years for it to be demolished.

Five Ways Tower was forced to close 16 years ago after being designated a “sick building” due to its poor working conditions.

Condemned and given sick building status because so many of its workers were falling ill with viruses due to its design and lack of ventilation, the 260ft-high block dominates the landscape in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Since closing the building has been a magnet for vandals and arsonists, but still remains standing and with an uncertain future.

Now a group of urban explorers from Yorkshire have gone inside with video cameras and shared their findings.

Daniel Sims, whose urban explorer alter ego is Beardedreality spent a weekend in the city with his team visiting abandoned buildings.

The 32-year-old and from Huddersfield, travels around the country, exploring buildings which are due to be knocked down, recording what he sees and posting it on his YouTube channel.

He said: “We did our research and picked Five Ways Tower because of its history, as a ‘sick building’ and because of its height.

“Everything we did was legal under civil trespass laws, which means as long as we don’t break and enter, or steal anything while we’re inside, then we’re fine.

“If the police are called out and ask us to leave, then as long as we do, we can’t be prosecuted.”

They used a ladder to climb in via a broken first floor window and once inside spent an hour and a half exploring the block.

They found every floor had been abandoned and stripped back to just the brickwork and bare floors.

Gone were the desks, chairs and evidence that thousands of people had once worked there.

There are more than 2,000 rooms in the derelict building.

After climbing more than 40 flights of stairs, the team or urban explorers made it onto the roof on the 23rd floor and were rewarded with stunning views of the West Midlands high up in the sky.

“Holy c**p – the views are amazing!” Dan exclaimed when he reached the top.

Daniel said: “We do this because we want to record an oral and visual social history of Britain’s abandoned buildings.

“Virtually all of the buildings will end up being demolished and our videos ensure there will always be a record of what they used to look like.”

The future of Five Ways Tower is unknown at the moment.

The freehold and land is owned by Calthorpe Estates, but the leaseholder is The Corbally Group (Edgbaston) Ltd, which acquired it in 2016.

Calthorpe Estates told BirminghamLive in 2018: “The site is scheduled for future redevelopment and the Estate is working closely with all parties in an attempt to bring this forward.

“In the interim, both The Corbally Group and The Estate are attuned to the poor condition of the building and while its present condition is regrettable, regular surveys are undertaken to ensure the building and surroundings are maintained in a safe and secure condition.”