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Staying Cool is celebrating 15 years at Rotunda this year with a year-long programme of events to showcase Birmingham’s wealth of creative talent in arts, literature, food and drink

Working with fellow indies from across the city, Creative Heights II is a not-for-profit programme providing a sky-high platform for talented artists, local designers and fab food & drink providers. Residents and visitors to Birmingham alike will have the opportunity to visit Rotunda, take part in painting, drawing and photography sessions, listen to literature talks or see new art and theatre performed against the stunning backdrop of the Brum cityscape.

Creative Heights is all about celebrating local, not only in the events we’re hosting, but the charities we’re supporting throughout the programme. Our event hosts have chosen a range of charities to benefit from ticket sales proceeds including:

SIFA Fireside logo-3
Birmingham and Solihull Womens Aid charity logo
Love Brum charity logo
Birmingham Museums Trust charity logo
Brain tumour research charity logo
Save Smallbrook logo

The Rotunda Run returns with Run of a Kind Birmingham

Sunday 21st April 2024, 10am – 12.30pm

Back by popular demand, Run of a Kind Birmingham returns to Rotunda for a spring edition of their Rotunda Run!

Starting and ending in one of our upper floor apartments at Rotunda. Birmingham’s Run of a Kind team will start by warming up and telling you all about the circular skyscraper that has formed a key part of the city’s skyline since the 1960s.

The attendees of the first Rotunda Run with Run of A Kind outside the entrance to Rotunda Birmingham.

You will then be guided on an 8km run through the Birmingham, pausing at some more of our city’s most iconic and beautiful buildings to hear a fun fact (or 5) while you catch your breath.

The run will conclude back at Rotunda with a cool down stretch plus coffee and croissants to enjoy whilst you take in views of the city from above.

Tickets are £25 per person including coffee and a croissant, with £5 from each ticket donated to help Run of a Kind’s “Our Cause“.

BOOK YOUR PLACE

Ruth Millington: This workshop will make you an artist!

Date to be confirmed

Join Ruth Millington, author of This Book Will Make You An Artist, for an afternoon of art.

A children’s workshop recommended for ages 5-11 years, you will explore drawings, paintings, sculptures and collages by famous artists, including Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Hilma af Klint and Vincent van Gogh. Then, have a go at making your own masterpiece inspired by their styles and techniques. This workshop will make you an artist! 

Children of all ages and abilities are welcome but due to limited space we’d ask that only one adult accompany each child attending; children must be accompanied at all times. Materials will be provided.

TICKETS COMING SOON

Introducing our ‘Rotunda Pale’ ale

When it comes to raising a glass to celebrate its 15 years in Birmingham, we are doing it in style by turning our iconic Rotunda home into a limited-edition beer. Brewed with the finest British pale floor malt and hopped with Citra and Amarillo, the Rotunda Pale has a thirst quenching freshness.

Rotunda Pale Ale infront of a Rotunda sketch by Stacey Barnfield
The limited edition can celebrates the Birmingham icon we call home and was elegantly designed by local creative Stacey Barnfield.

Our ‘Rotunda Pale’ collaboration with Birmingham Brewing Company forms part of our Creative Heights II celebration of city architecture, art, food and drink. It’s been flying off the shelves, but check back regularly for restocks on the Birmingham Brewing Co website.

Attendance places will be limited, so register your interest below to be the first to hear about new events and updates:


    Past Events

    Flatpack Festival: QUEER LIVING: WANNA GET IN MY DRAWERS?

    Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May 2023

    Footage from Juliet Bashore’s 1991 documentary The Battle of Tuntenhaus.
    Juliet Bashore’s 1991 documentary The Battle of Tuntenhaus

    Programmed by Beth Steventon-Crinks, this unique event offers an immersive look at Queer living, chosen family and the stories that can be found on a bedside table, Beth invites you into the intimate space of a Queer bedroom.

    Originally inspired by two Instagram accounts, @queernightstands and @queerbedsidetables, Wanna Get In My Drawers will fill a Staying Cool apartment with bedside tables from Queer people across the city and asks you to consider what we want from Queer living in the future. The installation sets the scene for Juliet Bashore’s 1991 documentary The Battle of Tuntenhaus, a film about the residents of Tuntenhaus squat in East Berlin – known as “House of Queers” – and their fight against eviction by the West German police.

    Shoot the sunset: summer photography session

    Thursday 29th June 2023, 7-9.30pm

    Local photographers enjoying a birds eye view of Birmingham at Staying Cool's Shoot The Sunset June 2023 photography event

    This June, we’re offering a small group of local photographers the opportunity to shoot the Brum sunset from our 20th floor Rotunda penthouse and enjoy a beer on us! With 100% of ticket sales going to local charity LoveBrum, the session will provide the opportunity for hobbyists and professionals alike to take in the views, snap some unique shots and network over a limited edition Rotunda Pale ale – our limited-edition collaboration with Birmingham Brewing Company. Please be aware, spaces will be limited and tickets will go fast!

    Vines with a View with The Wilderness

    Thursday 20th July 2023, 6-9pm

    Sonal Clare, Head Sommelier at The Wilderness enjoying a glass of wine on a Rotunda penthouse balcony.

    Join The Wilderness‘s Alex Claridge and superstar sommelier Sonal Clare for a wine tasting like no other at Rotunda. For one night only, the lads are taking over and offering the chance to taste wines from The Wilderness cellar at mates rates. Ticket prices include tasting measures (100ml) of four superlative wines chosen by Sonal and inspired by Staying Cool’s iconic Rotunda penthouse – find the perfect wine for the bedroom, for food pairing, for lounging, and for enjoying al fresco. Guests can also get their hands on bottles to drink in or takeaway, all available at discounted prices. Expect a casual wine tasting set to a soundtrack curated by Sonal, with the opportunity to chat with Mr Claridge, Mr Clare and The Wilderness crew. £5 from each ticket will be donated to SIFA Fireside, plus 10% of drinks sales on the night.

    Bring your Rotundas to Rotunda

    Sunday 6th August 2023

    Let’s get creative! This competition is open to all age groups. We are seeking your interpretation of Rotunda in your choice of media. It could be a one foot model, it could be a drawing, a photo, a Lego version, Jenga version. Whatever it is, we want to see it.

    Bring your Rotundas to Rotunda and be in with a chance of winning a framed Rotunda artwork! And if you can’t physically bring your Rotunda to Rotunda, book in a Zoom slot to show it to us. Best model wins a night in the penthouse, a set of images by the fabulous Stacey Barnfield and the kudos of winning (of course!).

    Tour Rotunda for Heritage Week

    Sunday 10th September 2023, 3-7pm

    Rotunda is one of Birmingham’s landmark locations and a post-war architectural icon, with a fascinating history of highs and lows. Saved from demolition and now listed as protected, join Birmingham heritage experts for a talk about Rotunda’s design, history and fascinating facts about our wonderful home as well as a tour of the place.

    Shoot the Sunset: Photography Open House

    Sunday 1st October 2023, 5-8pm

    Shoot the sunset October 2023

    Staying Cool’s skyscraping setting has been the perfect place for Birmingham’s photographers to flex their creative muscles, capturing sunrises, sunsets and everything in between. This is your chance to come along with the camera and capture something different. Our open house photography sessions are open to hobbyists and a alike.

    Thursday 19th October 2023

    Join local art historian Ruth Millington to discover Birmingham’s sites of surrealism, from Balsall Heath to the Trocadero. Learn about the city’s surrealists, including Emmy Bridgwater, Conroy Maddox and Desmond Morris who were opposed to London’s artists, forged direct links with Paris and staged surrealist stunts, including planting a dinosaur on Broad Street.

    Evolving Skylines: Photography Workshop with Verity Milligan

    Sunday 29th October 2023, 3-6pm

    Birmingham photographer Verity Milligan invites you to join her in a unique workshop experience atop the iconic Rotunda. In this exclusive session, you’ll gain insider access to one of Birmingham’s most coveted vantage points. Guided by Verity’s expert eye, you’ll explore the skyline of Birmingham from this impressive perspective, Verity will share with you her creative insights and technical expertise to help you discover the perfect balance between capturing the grandeur of the city and the intimate details that often go unnoticed. 

    Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just beginning your journey, this workshop offers the opportunity to expand your skills and creative potential. Staring in the late afternoon, you’ll witness the city move from sunset to dusk, capturing the ‘blue hour’ when the city really comes alive. This workshop promises to be an immersive experience that will hopefully leave you inspired, with a newfound set of skills and a stunning collection of imagery that encapsulates the evolving beauty of the Birmingham skyline.

    Ticket includes entry to the retrospective that follows at

    Evolving Skylines: The Birmingham Skyline from Rotunda’s Perspective (2014-2023)

    Sunday 29th October 2023, 6-8pm

    This is a celebration of Birmingham’s past, a testament to its present, and a glimpse into its future through the photography of Verity Milligan as she captures the spirit of a city constantly evolving, forever leaving its mark on the horizon.

    Embark on a captivating visual journey through the ever-changing tapestry of Birmingham’s skyline in the retrospective photography exhibition, exploring smaller details to grand vistas of a city in flux. Feast your eyes on a captivating collection of photographs taken by Verity Milligan that chronicle the city’s architectural evolution over the past decade and marvel at the juxtapositions and ever-changing nature of Birmingham’s skyline.

    Murder, She Cooked

    Sunday 3rd December 2023, 2-5pm

    Wouldn’t you love to be a guest at Jessica Fletcher’s dining table but in the heart of Birmingham city centre? Or to sample one of her homemade cookies as you sit and discuss a horrible crime at her kitchen table? Well, here’s the next best thing. Recipes from the homes of Dame Angela Lansbury and many of her wonderful co-stars are here for you to enjoy as you settle down to listen as the author of Murder She Cooked, Jenny Hammerton takes you behind the scenes. You’ll be surprised what you don’t know! All attendees will take away their very own copy of the book to try out some fab dishes at home.

    Sip & Sketch: Christmas Edition

    Sunday 10th December 2023, 3-5pm

    Sip, sketch and socialise at the most magical time of the year! Local artist Flic Blades has teamed up with our fabulous Rotunda team, to bring you this special festive edition of Sip & Sketch.

    To kick off our arty workshop for grown ups (18+), you’ll be greeted with a glass of fizz on arrival to start those creative engines. Then, whilst sipping away, Flic will guide you through festive drawing games and holiday themed creative activities. All art supplies are provided but you’re welcome to bring your own if you prefer.

    You’ll be supported throughout the afternoon session by your host Flic, a Birmingham based artist with a passion for white wine and doodling.

    Ultraopticon… Immersive theatre with Stan’s Cafe

    6pm Friday 19th January 2024 – 6pm Saturday 20th January 2024

    Ships are moving on the high sea and nudging into dock. Planes are crossing time zones. Foreign exchanges and futures markets are shifting. Early morning workers are scuttling from New Street Station. Weather fronts are moving in. Social media threads are spinning. From high in the Rotunda, Ultraopticon is watching all.

    Visit, watch or listen to their 24 hour webcast. 13+ languages… 24 hours… 18:00 – 18:00

    45-minute attendance slots are available for the full 24 hours, so come and observe as the mountain of coffee cups and pizza boxes get higher as the observers try to keep watching the whole world.

    £2 from each ticket will be donated to Birmingham’s B30 Foodbank.

    The Rotunda Run with Run of a Kind Birmingham

    Sunday 28th January 2024, 10am

    Starting and ending in one of our top floor penthouse apartments at Rotunda. Birmingham’s Run of a Kind team will start your run from Rotunda’s 20th floor, warming up and telling you all about the circular skyscraper that has formed a key part of the city’s skyline since the 1960s.

    You will then be guided through Birmingham, pausing at some more of our city’s most iconic and beautiful buildings to hear a fun fact (or five) while you catch your breath.

    The team will be hosting two groups on different routes:

    Both runs will finish with a cool down stretch, plus coffee and croissants to enjoy whilst admiring the views from one of our top floor penthouses.

    Tickets are £25 per person, including coffee and a croissant, with £5 from each ticket donated to help Our Cause.

    The Skyline Sessions: Yoga & Mindfulness at Rotunda

    Take in the Birmingham skyline from the 20th floor of the Rotunda while you practice yoga and/or mindfulness.

    We’ve teamed up with long-time guest and friend of Staying Cool, mindfulness and yoga guru Bridget Fitzpatrick. A Breathworks mindfulness teacher, a Yoga Alliance Professionals accredited Yoga teacher and a Somatic Exercise Coach, Bridget loves taking her accessible and friendly classes to unusual venues, helping people find physical ease and mental calm wherever and whoever they are.

    Bridget Fitzpatrick of Mindful Manchester

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    Session 1 – Sunset Meditation (meditation only session)

    £15 per ticket

    What better way to end a winter weekend? Enjoy a relaxing session of mindfulness and meditation in our beautiful penthouse, taking in the sunset from the top of the iconic Rotunda. Bridget will settle you in with a skyline mindfulness practice, followed by a blissful and super-relaxing body scan meditation, which will leave you floating into the evening.

    No meditation or mindfulness experience is necessary. This small, friendly group session is perfect for (sceptical!) beginners. Bridget’s approach is unstuffy, fun and accessible. No equipment needed, mats will be supplied. Just wear something really comfy that you can move in and relax in. It’s suggested that you are seated on the floor and then lying down for the body scan, but if that doesn’t work for you, the session can be completed on a chair throughout.

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    Session 2 – Skyline Yoga

    £15 per ticket

    Move your body and calm your mind – in our gorgeous Rotunda penthouse with the best views in Birmingham. This relaxing yoga & mindfulness micro retreat offers a complete reset for the mind and body and will round off your weekend perfectly. Using gentle and nourishing practices from both yoga and mindfulness, you’ll explore what your mind and body need to support you in the new year.

    No experience of yoga or meditation is required. All bodies and abilities are welcome, whether you are brand new to yoga, a regular that wants to try a unique class with a view. Mats will be supplied. You don’t need to bring anything apart from yourself, you’re welcome to bring your own yoga kit, if preferred. Wear something really comfy, that you can move in and relax in.

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    Session 3 – Sunrise Yoga

    £15 per ticket

    This gentle but invigorating class will bring a nourishing and energising start to your week in our stunning Rotunda penthouse with the best sunrise in Birmingham. The perfect antidote to those mid-January blues, this refreshing yoga & mindfulness class is a reset for the mind and body. Using gentle and energising practices from yoga and mindfulness, you’ll explore what your mind and body need to support you in the week (and year) ahead.

    No experience of yoga or meditation is required. All bodies and abilities are welcome, whether you are brand new to yoga, a regular that wants to try a unique class with a different emphasis. Mats will be supplied. You don’t need to bring anything apart from yourself, you’re welcome to bring your own yoga kit, if preferred. Wear something really comfy, that you can move in and relax in.

    Brutiful Birmingham: Celebrating James Roberts

    Thursday 1st February, 6pm-8pm 

    Staying Cool at Rotunda will be celebrating the architecture of James A. Roberts – designer of our iconic home and neighbouring Smallbrook Ringway – with an exclusive Creative Heights event hosted by post-war architecture campaign group Brutiful Birmingham.

    Smallbrook Ringway as seen from Staying Cool at Rotunda

    Hear from speakers:

    Enjoy panoramic views of the Birmingham skyline and Smallbrook Ringway itself from our top floor Rotunda penthouse, accompanied by a Rotunda Pale Ale designed in collaboration with Birmingham Brewing Company to celebrate our Creative Heights art, architecture, literature and wellbeing events programme.

    You’ll learn more about Roberts’ designs for Rotunda and 1960s urbanism, as his vision – and that of other fellow post-war architects – comes under the continued scrutiny of planning departments and property developers.