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The Cube, Birmingham, UK - 'City Gems'

A collection of photography, images and content about the iconic Cube, a great example of modern and creative architecture in Birmingham.  

What we found out

What difference has it made

Passions

Photography, Modern Architecture

Project dates

22 Sep 2017 - On-going

Contact (for more details)

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ freetimepays.com

Modern Architecture
11 May 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Cube from 2011 to The Big Hoot 2015

A gallery of photos I've taken of The Cube from early 2011 until 2015 when The Big Hoot owl sculpture trail was on. Over the years I have taken many views of The Cube from the City Centre. Either from the canals or from the nearby streets. Many different views of it to see. The only time I got the lift all the way up to the top was in the summer of 2015 to see The Big Hoot owl up there

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The Cube from 2011 to The Big Hoot 2015





A gallery of photos I've taken of The Cube from early 2011 until 2015 when The Big Hoot owl sculpture trail was on. Over the years I have taken many views of The Cube from the City Centre. Either from the canals or from the nearby streets. Many different views of it to see. The only time I got the lift all the way up to the top was in the summer of 2015 to see The Big Hoot owl up there


I've taken many views of The Cube over the years. This is a gallery of photos I've taken between 2011 and 2015. Most of them taken in 2011 and 2012. By 2013 the Library of Birmingham had opened, so some new views. By 2015 I went into The Cube to see the pair of Big Hoot owls, which you will see further down this post.

2011

These views of The Cube were taken during January 2011.

View from Upper Gough Street, looking down Upper Marshall Street.

The view below was from Washington Street.

Better view from the end of Washington Street, close to Commercial Street.

Close up from Wasington Street before going onto Commercial Street.

The rear entrance on Commercial Street. Was a website at the time called The Cube is Coming. Promising Amazing Views.

Looking up from Commercial Street towards the Crown.

Commercial Street from ground level.

Slightly further back on Commercial Street with the building to the left.

The Cube dominating every other building on Commercial Street.

There is also a view from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal between Granville Street and the Salvage Turn Bridge. This would have been from the Granville Street Bridge towards The Mailbox.

2012

Now for some views taken during February 2012.

This view of The Cube was taken from Granville Street near Washington Wharf. There is an old building surviving amongst all the modern ones here.

Views of The Cube taken from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal between Bath Row and Granville Street, February 2012.

In front of The Cube on the canalside is The Maltings, also called Davenports House, they are student accommodation for University College Birmingham (UCB).

You can get onto the canal from the steps at Bath Row near Bishopsgate Street. If you want to, get off the canal at the steps at Granville Street.

In fact I did get off the canal at Granville Street. One last view of The Cube from down here.

2013

Views of The Cube taken in May 2013.

This view below from Brindleyplace, while I was on Oozells Street. Looking down Berkley Street.

Another view from Oozells Street looking down Berkley Street below. Concrete one one of the nightclubs on Broad Street. The Rocket Club.

Detailed zoom in from Berkley Street towards the criss crosses patterns. A bit like TETRIS (and this was before Holiday Inn Express was built on Holliday Street).

Corner of the Crown zoomed up from Berkley Street.

In July 2013 there was a Mini below The Cube from the canalside. Was something about My First Mini.

In August 2013 I saw this Diving Sculpture from Waterfront Walk near the canalside towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal opposite The Cube.

The artist was Cathy Lewis and she was commissioned to make it in 2006 by Charles Church Developments to create a large sculpture for a public site beside the new Register Office at Holliday Wharf, Birmingham. At the time a narrowboat name Eloiuse was moored up on the canal.

Slightly further back view of Cathy Lewis's Diving Sculpture from Waterfront Walk.

In the middle of September 2013 on a photo walk around Highgate, I spotted this view of The Cube from Angelina Street.

In September 2013, the then new Library of Birmingham opened to the public for the first time, and while there got some views of The Cube from there. This view was from Level 2, at the time known as the Knowledge floor.

View of The Cube from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham which was on Level 3, known at the time as the Discovery floor.

Another view from the Discovery Terrace, with some of circular structure of the Library of Birmingham above.

In this December 2013 view below taken from Tyseley Station. The zoom on my then bridge camera probably went beyond into digital zoom which gets a bit pixelly. The area above the Tyseley DMU Depot. At the time I got a train from my local station, got off at Tyseley, then waited for another train on the line to Solihull.

2014

Not so many views taken of The Cube in 2014. In October 2014 I was looking for a blue plaque on Tindal Street in Balsall Heath when I spotted this view of The Cube. The Hyatt Hotel is just about visible from here to the right.

2015

From Centenary Square during January 2015. Winter Skate Birmingham (late Ice Skate Birmingham) was being dismantled after the end of the Christmas / Winter season. Saw this view of The Cube looking down Bridge Street. At the time the former Register Office (later House of Sport) had yet to be demolished for Arena Central. The Hyatt Hotel seen to the right. There was a JCB in Centenary Square,

The July 2015 visit to The Cube was to see the pair of Big Hoot owls that they had in the building.

A few floors down from the ground floor was Mr Architect by the artist Sam Pierpoint and the sponsor was The Cube. On this side the design had The Cube as the hair, Library of Birmingham as the wings, The Mailbox was on the legs and Selfridges as the feet.

The design had The Cube as the hair, Curzon Street Station at the back of the head, and the Library of Birmingham as the body and Selfridges as the feet.

This sign on the ground floor welcomed you to The Cube. Mr Architect was reachable via the lift or escalators to Level 5. For Owl-livia, you had to take the lift up to Level 25 to the Hotel Indigo Reception area.

After catching the lift up to Level 25 it was time to look at the next owl. Owl-livia was by the artist Charlie Langhorne and the sponsor was Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill Birmingham.

While at the top near Hotel Indigo and Marco Pierre White, I took an opportunity to get photos of the views from the top.

This view from the top of The Cube towards Jurys Inn and other buildings along Broad Street. It has changed a lot since then (I've not had a need to go back up to the top of The Cube since).

I may next cover The Cube from 2016 to 2020, but might be less photos.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Apr 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Cube from the last year of construction in 2009 till it was completed in 2010

I only started taking photos around Birmingham in 2009, so didn't get my first close up photos of The Cube until the summer of 2009. On and off I got the odd photo update. Then in 2010 when it was getting close to completion I took more photos of it. The Lovely People statues were installed by the end of 2010. This year The Cube is getting close to it's 10th anniversary.

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The Cube from the last year of construction in 2009 till it was completed in 2010





I only started taking photos around Birmingham in 2009, so didn't get my first close up photos of The Cube until the summer of 2009. On and off I got the odd photo update. Then in 2010 when it was getting close to completion I took more photos of it. The Lovely People statues were installed by the end of 2010. This year The Cube is getting close to it's 10th anniversary.


The Cube

The Cube was built between 2007 and 2010. The architect was Ken Shuttleworth of Make Architects. It should have been completed by 2008 but got delayed until 2010. Located near The Mailbox alongside the Worcester & Birmingham Canal on Commercial Street and near Washington Wharf.

 

2009

Indirect views of the construction of The Cube taken during April 2009 from Gas Street Basin. These are crops of the original photos. So you have the bridge near the Tap & Spile.

The narrowboats at Worcester Bar, and the buildings behind were derelict.

Views from June 2009. From the Worcester & Birmingham Canal towards the Salvage Turn Bridge.

Towards The Mailbox.

From The Mailbox.

The view from Brindleyplace along Oozells Street from Oozells Square (beyond Broad Street and down Berkley Street).

In October 2009 from Digbeth, The Cube on the Skyline behind The Sentinels, and to the left of the Beetham Tower and Centre City Tower. The Custard Factory (Devonshire House) is to the right.

December 2009 at The Mailbox (I was there for a work Christmas Party). Nightshots. Cladding of The Cube almost done apart from the Crown.

Views of The Cube down Bridge Street. Cladding on the side facing Premier Inn was not quite done.

Buildings on the left on the Arena Central site would not be demolished until 2015. Was an old hospital (I think).

2010

Heading to February 2010, this view was between Baskerville House and the site of the Library of Birmingham. Cladding around The Cube looked done, but the Crown still hadn't had glass panels installed. The old Municipal Bank below.

From Cambridge Street past the Library of Birmingham site. This end of The REP was going to be demolished before the library was built. Could see The Cube to the left. If you stand here today, you will not be able to See The Cube (unless you go up to the Discovery Terrace or Secret Garden).

A few more views of The Cube from Bridge Street with a Victorian style lamppost. Looks like a gas lit one (but probably has light bulbs).

May 2010 and they had finally put up the glass panels on the Crown of The Cube. Views from The Mailbox.

The Highways Agency would become one of the first tenants at The Cube.

This view over the future Arena Central site behind Centenary Plaza. This was a view from Centenary Square near the Hall of Memory.

June 2010 and my first views of The Cube now more or less complete from Highgate Park and on the skyline with The Sentinels and Beetham Tower.

Views from Bristol Street. Buildings that were on Holloway Head. So not far from Holloway Circus.

July 2010 and some more views of The Cube from The Mailbox.

The Cube from Gas Street Basin, now complete.

December 2010 and my first interior photos of The Cube. Mainly to see the Lovely People statues.

The Lovely People by Temper.

Urban

Positioned as though welcoming guests to The Cube, ‘Urban’ represents the difficulties of facing of adversity, as well as the triumphs of overcoming these to create a better life.
Inspiration: Lee Fortnam, who faced troubles throughout his early life, but with the help of The Prince’s Trust went on to begin a successful career as a Corgi registered gas and plumbing engineer – later becoming an ambassador for the charity.

Mother & Child

The only pair of figures within the collection, ‘Mother and Child’ can be found on Level 7, sharing the unparalleled bond between a mother and her children.
Inspiration: Ellie-Mae, who was born in with a hole in her heart, and Rachel, who had no choice but to leave her daughter in the capable hands of the staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Uplifted

Suspended high within the atrium, ‘Uplifted’ tells the story of bravery and self-sacrifice of those who help people in need. The sculpture was designed to show a person holding on to the balloon preparing for life’s ride.
Inspiration: Firefighter Dave Burns of the West Midlands Fire Service who, in 1992, entered a 20-storey building to rescue two colleagues from a floor engulfed in flames. Burns was later awarded the George Medal by Queen Elizabeth II.

Working Man

Found on Level 5, ‘The Working Man’ is sat on a bench reading a newspaper, representative of people who work to provide for their family and put a roof over their head.
Inspiration: Birmingham-born Barry O’Neil who turned the notion of ‘nine-to-five’ into something much more heroic. Having worked for some of the West Midlands greatest manufacturers, including JCB and MG Rover, O’Neil proved there is no pursuit more honest or dignified.

Persuit

Tucked within the office spaces on Level 8 you’ll find ‘Pursuit’, representing Birmingham’s entrepreneurial heritage and the legacy it holds to this day.
Inspiration: Paul Bassi, businessman and first Asian president of the Chamber of Commerce, recognised for his contribution to business and the economy, as well as his selflessness.

Survivor

An addition to Level 6, ‘Survivor’ reflects the perseverance and bravery of people when faced with times of crisis.
Inspiration: Holocaust survivor, Gerda Cavangh, who escaped Vienna, trekked across Europe and arrived in England as a stowaway. Born into a Jewish family in Austria, Cavangh’s mother encouraged her to flee the country. Once in England, she worked as a medical orderly in the Auxiliary Territorial Services, receiving two service medals for her work.

I've taken more views of The Cube since then from 2011 until earlier in 2020 on and off, but will leave those photos for another post maybe.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,110 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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