Although only opened 17 years ago, the department store is getting a new layer of insulation behind its distinctive buttons.
Since the building’s original construction, completed in 2003, there have been sufficient advances both in building standards and insulation to warrant an upgrade, BAM said.
Work involves removing the building’s 16,000 aluminium disks, cleaning them and then storing them while the building’s facade is replaced and a new layer of insulation installed. Then it’s a paint job and putting the buttons back on.
The work has just started and is expected to complete during 2022. The store will remain open throughout and trade as normal.
During the work, the building will be wrapped in a patterned hoarding created by Birmingham-born fashion designer and artist Osman Yousefzada. This will be the designer’s first piece of public art, which he has entitled The Dogtooth Flower.
Dave Ellis, director of BAM Construction in the midlands, said: “This is an iconic building that everybody recognises, with an iconic brand behind it. BAM is going to restore it to its original best. Modern point cloud techniques have allowed us to work more efficiently on the details of these 16,000 disks.
“Given the need to erect extensive scaffolding around this very central building, we are working at night to minimise any impact at ground level during the day.”
BAM is currently behind a quarter of a billion pounds of new buildings in the half-mile walk between Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square and Snow Hill, the company said.