Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Cube | Make Architects

The Cube is the final phase of Birmingham's successful Mailbox development, providing 42,000m² of accommodation for shops, bars, cafes, offices, apartments and a boutique hotel.The building is square in plan with public space at its heart and a diagonal axis dividing it into two L-shaped structures at lower levels. As the building rises the floorplates expand to bridge the ground level route and terrace at the uppermost levels, allowing a dramatic asymmetric lightwell to occupy a third of the plan. The lightwell twists as it rises upwards, slicing through the floor plates to create dynamic spatial relationships while drawing natural light deep into the heart of the building.

A geometric metal and glass cladding system is used for the lower levels and upper floors of accommodation, dissolving into a fretwork screen at upper levels. The modular cladding system also plays a key role in the building's environmental strategy, offering infinite flexibility to tailor the glazing of each facade in response to potential solar gain. Other energy efficient measures incorporated into the building design include natural ventilation and the installation of centralised plant.

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