Willmott beat off fierce competition from Kier after the race was whittled down to two.
The 18,310 sq metre home for the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design is the first stage of the University’s £180m investment plans.
The new centre has been designed by Associated Architects and will feature a large ‘Media Hub’ to include TV, radio and photographic studios that will underpin the University’s media production courses.
Peter Owen, Willmott Dixon’s Managing Director for the Midlands, said: “Our role with Birmingham City University places us at the heart of creating Birmingham’s bright future.
“We will make sure the local community benefits from our work, which includes spending around 80 per cent of our budget on companies within 30 miles using local subcontractors, trades people and suppliers.”
Plans for the five-storey building, adjacent to Cardigan Street, were approved by Birmingham City Council in April. Work on phase one is now scheduled to start in autumn 2011 and be ready for occupation in September 2013.