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Birmingham Mailbox Guinguette

Advised by Modus Operandi, the owners of the Birmingham Mailbox commissioned Mark Pimlott to design an intervention linking the new retail, office, hotel and residential complex with the city centre, two areas that are separated by a flyover.  The artist used the model of a 19th century guinguette, a kind of club that existed on the perimeters of Paris just outside the legislative boundaries of the city, and transplanted the idea to the Birmingham flyover. Pimlott decided to use the idea and ‘just invert it, from a negative into the ridiculously positive’.


Lighting dominates the intervention and the artist designed the arrangement of luminaires and projectors using lights with different scales and optical effects in order to manipulate the viewer's perception of depth. Throughout the day, more and more lights are turned on, climaxing in the evening when the lights are at their most intense.


Speaking of the commission Pimlott says ‘it seems to me like an art installation which could very easily be confused with being a design. It looks to me exactly how I thought it would be - a dream’


Mark Pimlott

Title of work



Birmingham Mailbox





Image credit