The Cube Birmingham

Public buildings


Arrow iconProject overview

Address : 196 Wharfside Street
B1 1RN Birmingham
United Kingdom
Contact person : Paul Ruddick
- United Kingdom

Architect : Make Architects - - 32 Cleveland Street - W1T 4AH - London - United Kingdom -

Fabricator : HAGA Metallbau - - 97461 - Hofheim i. Ufr. - Germany -

Project details :

The Cube was the final phase of Birmingham's highly successful Mailbox development and features a dramatic facade created using 20,000 unitised panels. 

This is an exceptional £100m, 23-storey mixed-use scheme, that pushed the boundaries of design and construction. The 42,000m² development was inspired by the jewellery and engineering heritage of the city and is based on the concept of a jewellery box. 

The bespoke facade was constructed using unitised curtain walling and provides a geometric blend of projecting gold, silver and bronze anodised aluminium panels and glass. This intricate design is complemented by a decorative metallic fretwork screen. 

The 20,000 panels have three different depths, casting a variety of shadows to add texture to the external facade. The internal elevations are different, but no less dramatic, designed to emphasise the jewels within the box. Glazed unitised panels twist up through a central courtyard and explode at the top to crown the building with the city's first rooftop bar and restaurant.

The Cube is a high profile mixed-use project, which has a low-energy design. Modular cladding gave architects the flexibility to tailor the glazing on the external and internal elevations in response to potential solar gain, providing a high degree of insulation and airtightness, as well as a low U value facade. 

This project created a spectacular new entrance to the canal network and city centre, accomodating a 44-bedroom boutique hotel, four floors of waterside retail and restaurants, 244 apartments, Grade A offices, a rooftop restaurant and a sky bar.

Arrow iconTechnical details

Facade systems


Filigree look without any change in appearance to the inner mullion and transom gaskets Ideal for vertical and polygon façades, sloped glazing and spatial structures Individual design thanks to a wide range of profile geometries for the structural and glazing profiles Uf up to 1.2W/m²K, solutionfor passiv houses up to Uf =0.74W/m²K Reliable glass load transmission (up to 4 kN), with adapted transom-joint technology Overlapping and secure drainage at the cross point, without mechanical mullion processing, ensures tried-and-tested impermeability Broad selection of profiles enables economic adaptation to structural requirements, with the additional option of internal reinforcement Glazing from outside featuring single- and/or two-part pressure and cover profiles Design options with concealed or visible screw fixture Extensive solutions for structure junctions and conservatories Burglar resistance up to WK3 with presure profile reinforcement bullet resistance class up to FB4 fire resistance class G30/F30, glass or panel up to 1.8x3.0m or 1.4x2.4m, overhead glazing possible, construction principle identical regular WICTEC 50 Complete product range for glazed roofs or slope facades Easy integration in roof windows, realizeable as SHEV variant as all glass facade, appearance similar to structural sealant glazing (SSG) facade Special pressure profile available with concealed guide for integrated sun protection
Facade systems


Tailored unitised façade solution for buildings with a unique visual design Perfectly suited for big, transparent façades Individual, customized façade system to meet specific requirements of each building; developed by the international WICONA experts and tested in the certified WICONA Test Centre Production of the complete units in the workshop, avoiding any weather influence and thus assuring a constantly high production quality Fast, efficient and projectable assembly on site thanks to prefabricated and glazed units with patented drainage system for unitised façades Outstanding performance: high thermal insulation and sound insulation
Facade systems


WICONA Duowall double façade systems are system solutions individually tailored to the building requirements. The technical values depend on the systems used. Outstanding thermal insulation Optimal use of solar energy gains Natural ventilation in all weather conditions Very good sound protection, even when windows are open Simple integration of building technology, sun protection, functional elements Individual configuration of system technology Integration of different opening elements