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New office block 'as distinctive as The Cube'

Councillor praises plans for former Post & Mail site as green light is given to new office building

A planned 14-storey city centre office block could be as distinctive and iconic as The Cube or Selfridges building, it has been claimed.

Developer Chatham Billingham, the company behind the Mailbox, won the go ahead for the block on the site of the old Birmingham Post & Mail print works in Weaman Street.

Its design for the tower, which will be built on top of the existing car park and a parade of shops, was given the green light by the council's planning committee.

Committee member Coun Barry Henley (Lab Brandwood) said: "This building's design is quirky, interesting and goes with things like The Cube and Selfridges which are interesting to look at."

He said it would be a great addition to the city centre.

The developer already had permission for a block of apartments and offices but has now decided that apartments are no longer viable.

Phase one of the project was completed in 2015 and comprises the underground, 752-space car park in the old printing works with 31,600 sq ft of retail and office units above.

The new tower will be built immediately above this.

Associated Architects CGI of phase two of the Post & Mail redevelopment
CGI of phase two of the Post & Mail redevelopment

The development site besides the police HQ at Lloyd House was home to the Birmingham Post & Mail for decades, housed in a complex originally designed by renowned city architect John Madin.

Large parts of the 1960s complex, including the famous tower, were demolished in 2005 to make way for what is now The Colmore Building.

The newspapers moved out of the city centre in 2008 to their current home in Fort Dunlop, Castle Bromwich.

But the newspaper heritage inspired the design of the new block.

Matthew Goer, managing director of Birmingham practice Associated Architects which designed the scheme, said: "The building's external appearance takes its cue from the print-making history of the site.

"Anodised aluminium cladding panels have been chosen to give the building a crisp, metallic appearance, alluding to the plate printing matrices that can be seen on photographic records of the demolished Printing Works building.

"In addition, the limited colour palette of black, grey and silver represents the appearance of monochrome newsprint."

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