Post and Mail building, Birmingham

Edit profile
Post and Mail building, Birmingham
The Birmingham Post and Mail building was constructed in the 1960s and was a symbol of the rebuilding of Birmingham, England following the devastation of World War II.

Construction and lifetime
Designed in 1960 by John H.D. Madin and Partners (partner in charge, D.V. Smith, project architects Ronald E. Cordin and Ramon K. Wood). It was one of the earliest buildings to follow the podium and slab block form of architecture inspired by Lever House in New York City and it became the oldest example of such architecture in the UK once the Castrol Building in London had been redeveloped. It was home to the Birmingham Post and Evening Mail newspapers following its completion in 1964. The tower had a concrete core surrounded by a steel structure designed by Structural Engineers (Roy Bolsover and Associates) who were also the engineers on many other landmark buildings in the Birmingham area during this period. The tower was clad in aluminium. The concrete beams in the podium were clad in black Argentine granite enclosing fillets of white Sicilian marble. At the time of completion, it was hailed as great achievement by Douglas Hickman in his book Birmingham published in 1970 on buildings in Birmingham. John H.D. Madin and Partners used it as their greatest achievement along with Birmingham Central Library which was completed ten years after the Post and Mail building. The entrance hall to the tower was located at the left hand end of the podium. To the left of the editorial block is the printing works with a composing room at top, a two-storey publishing area below it, and a machine hall in a deep basement.

Demolition and redevelopment
During the building's life time, two attempts to give it listed status failed and demolition began. Demolition consisted of an excavator being placed on the top of the building and excavating through the building's core. It was deemed unsafe to destroy the building through explosives due to the listed buildings nearby and the disruption it would cause to transport links. As of November 2005, it was in the late stages of demolition, due to redevelopment of the site. The site will be renamed "Colmore Plaza" and will be turned into office space. The building will feature a glass faƧade to allow natural light to enter. Construction has already begun on the building with two tower cranes aiding it. Two concrete cores have been completed and the steel structure has been completed. Attachment of the cladding began in early December 2006. The tower cranes were removed by the end of May 2007 and the building was completed in early 2008. As of September 2008, only one floor of the office building had been let to tenants.