The Mailbox, Birmingham

The Mailbox is a prestigious multi-million pound retail and lifestyle redevelopment of the former Royal Mail parcels and letter sorting office in Birmingham city centre. It is Birmingham's most prominent regeneration project. The Mailbox comprises 25 acres of mixed use space. It offers: An exclusive collection of designer fashion and lifestyle shops, waterside restaurants and café bars, offices with mezzanine floors and atria enabling prestigious business tenants to create state of the art offices, 144 luxury rooftop apartments, a 188 bed Malmaison hotel; and over 900 secure car-parking spaces within the building. We provided quantity surveying, project management, employer’s agent and planning supervision on the project.

The approach: Two Stage Design and Build method of procurement, fixed price lump sum contract under JCT98 standard form of building contract. The challenge: No precedents, to cut a street straight through the heart of an existing building with a huge 12m x 12m column grid, 6.1 metre floor to floor height and complex changes in level and scale to take a vigorous approach to regeneration, to respect the complex histories of the surrounding buildings and topography to make The Mailbox a bold, iconic addition to the robust, redbrick city of Birmingham.

A new 200m x 12m open air pedestrian street was carved through the centre of the building to integrate with the city’s existing infrastructure opening up new pedestrian links. The street runs from its entrance at 'Mailbox Square', an impressive new public square with natural stone and feature paving, trees and lighting including work from leading artists, and rises 18 metres through to a continental style canalside piazza with restaurants and bars on the waterfront. The street creates a link between New Street Station, just 300 metres away, and the rejuvenated canal network. This, in turn, connects to the International Convention Centre and Brindley Place via a spectacular new bridge crossing the canal.

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