Mailbox, Birmingham

Elegance and calm derives from ‘less is more’

Mailbox
Mailbox Credit: Nick Hufton

Stanton Williams for Brockton Capital and Milligan Retail
Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 18,600 m²

One of the most successful aspects of the original Mailbox conversion from postal office to mixed-use building – with offices and apartments above a retail and parking podium – was the opening of a new pedestrian route through the building. From a retail point of view, however, it performed less well, a fact attributed to the passage being open to the elements.

  • Mailbox
    Mailbox Credit: Nick Hufton
  • Mailbox
    Mailbox Credit: Nick Hufton
  • Mailbox
    Mailbox Credit: Jack Hobhouse
  • Mailbox
    Mailbox Credit: Nick Hufton
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The brief this time was to breathe life into the multi-level mall by enclosing it. As the scheme was destined for high-end shops, the client stipulated that it should feel more ‘urban room’ than passage. The result is a high-quality arcade with an atmosphere normally associated with art galleries. Its elegance and calm derives from a ‘less is more’ approach. Eschewing a free-for-all of shopfronts, the architect has imposed a unifying aesthetic that draws together walls, floors and roof with a consistent palette of creamy white stone, plaster, glass and metal, which extends to the design of fittings, signage, lighting, alarms and security cameras.

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards- West Midlands

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