THE CUBE

Cities: BIRMINGHAM
Countries: UNITED KINGDOM
Categories: MIXED USE
Designer: MAKE ARCHITECTS
Date: 2010
The Cube is the final phase of Birmingham’s Mailbox development and one of Make’s largest building, made up of a broad mix of uses including offices, apartments, retail units, restaurants, an automated car park, a boutique hotel, spa facilities and the city’s first rooftop restaurant. Pivotal to the continued regeneration of the surrounding area, 
The Cube’s striking design has a dramatic impact on the Birmingham city skyline. The geometrical form of this 23-storey building has remained unchanged from initial concept to completion. Its architectural language is derived from strong local references to Birmingham’s industrial heritage, celebrating the contrasts between heavy industrial metal working and hand-crafted jewellery and watch making. 
A bespoke unitized cladding system encases and defines the complex form. Gold and bronze-coloured anodized aluminium panels of varying size and depth are combined with glass, creating an intricate design which is complemented by an elegant and decorative metallic fretwork screen across the open side of the courtyard. 
The flexibility of this cladding system also play a key role in the building’s environmental strategy; the proportion of glass-to-aluminium varies from façade to façade, with greater solidity on the southern elevations to limit potential solar gain. 
The geometry and materials of the courtyard are an unexpected contrast to the exterior; glazed unitized panels twist upwards through the central courtyard, forming a dramatic full-height open atrium which is animated by the colours of soffits and ledges. This twisting geometry explodes at the top to form the angular rooftop space which crowns the building. 

Photo credits: Make Architects.
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