As high as eight double decker buses, the atrium will form the centrepiece of the new station and the first stages of the job will be undertaken by Birmingham based contractors Coleman & Co.
Chris Montgomery, project director for Network Rail said: “The stunning new atrium will be the focal point of the redeveloped New Street which will transform the experience for the thousands of passengers who rely on the station every day. We’re working hard to minimise disruption during construction and while our engineers work behind the scenes, the station will remain open for train services as normal.”
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “It’s excellent to see work get underway on the stunning centrepiece at the heart of the new New Street. The new atrium will become a focal point not only for the station but for the city as well - providing a new meeting place and connecting the city with a rejuvenated south side.”
The Pallasades Shopping Centre will also remain open throughout the construction work.
Jonathan Cheetham, general manager of the Pallasades said: “The construction of the hoarding marks a very exciting and significant milestone in the regeneration of The Pallasades and New Street station.
“The shops situated in the central core which are affected by the hoarding work have now moved to alternative units in the shopping centre and I’d like to reassure shoppers that they can still find great value at The Pallasades as all our retailers will remain open during the redevelopment.”
Hoardings are being erected around the old retail units in the centre of the shopping centre. Coleman & Co will then start the process of removing around 20,000 tonnes of concrete and dismantling the roof on the top of the building. This will create the huge space to form the new station atrium. Construction of the steelwork which will form the atrium roof will start later this year.
At 3,300 square metres, the new atrium will cover an area 13 times the size of the centre court at Wimbledon. Lightweight, self cleaning ETFE will be used instead of glass in the roof structure. The atrium will open alongside a completed New Street station in 2015.