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Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 15:28 UK
The Cube - Birmingham: A top floor view
Midlands Today correspondent, Peter Plisner


Peter Plisner takes a look at the view from the top floor of the Cube

The Cube was designed by architect Ken Shuttleworth who is renowned for the London "gherkin".

He described his Cube creation as an 'enchanting jewellery box', but others haven't been so complimentary about the new building that is visible from many parts of the city.

Whatever people think of it, the Cube certainly gives Birmingham another new iconic landmark.

It is due to be completed in August 2010.

It is a monster of a building with 23 floors (there's no number 13 though!). Like it's nearest neighbour, the Mailbox, it's a mixed use development containing flats, several suites of offices, shops, a hotel and a 'skyline' restaurant with views of the city centre.

Totally new

Neil Edginton, Director of BuildAbility, the company in charge of building the Cube says: "It's a really important building for Birmingham. The Mailbox was a refurbishment of the old post office, but this is a total new build."

Cube, Birmingham
The Cube is due to be completed in August 2010

One of the things to stand out on the building is the glass clad roof. It was constructed using 666 glass panels.

The space will be used for a large restaurant and will become Birmingham's first ever panoramic rooftop restaurant.

The first tenants to move in were the Highways Agency, the government organisation that looks after the UK's road network.

Previously in the Five Ways business district, the Highways Agency relocated its biggest office complex to the Cube.

It has taken around half of the commercial office space in there and once the building is fully occupied it will house around 3,000 people.

Unpredictable times

But getting the Cube to where it is today hasn't been easy. There have been disputes with contractors and the recession meant that the project went into administration early in 2010.

Officials behind the project tried, but failed to reach agreement over the funding needed to finish the Cube. With the project almost 80% complete, administrators managed to arrange a new funding package to keep the project on track and ensure its completion.

For the Cube's administrator Matthew Hammond from PriceWaterhouseCoopers the important thing was keeping things happening on site.

"The key thing for us in the first month was getting everybody back on board and getting the goodwill of sub-contractors back in place to complete the build and then really over the last two and a half months allowing the management team and sub-contractors to get on with the work they're charged with doing."

Construction work on the Cube is expected to be complete by the end of August 2010.

City's Cube in administration
26 Mar 10 |  West Midlands
Cube contractors 'return to work'
27 Mar 10 |  West Midlands

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