Category Archives: Library of Birmingham

Library of Birmingham: From construction to landmark in photos

Opened on 3 September 2013, the Library of Birmingham has fast become one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. With a build costing around £188 million, the Library has gone on to win a number of design awards. How did the Library transform from a car park to an iconic structure? Here it is in pictures:

birmingham newsroom exterior build library of birmingham

Located in Centenary Square, the Library of Birmingham sits on a site which was once a car park, next to the REP Theatre. This final site was decided after much deliberation by Birmingham City Council in 2006.

library of birmingham harry cock

The facade of the building is clad in metal circles, forming a geometric pattern. A large roof terrace is full of lush planting including a wildflower meadow, encouraging a recent architectural trend for bringing greenery to a city using high rise buildings.

birmingham newsroom exterior scaffold library of birmingham

The public car park functioned until 2009, while in 2008 a shortlist of architects were selected during an international competition. In August, Mecanoo and Buro Happold were selected as the winners.

birmingham newsroom exterior scaffold library of birmingham

In 2009, plans for the Library were were unveiled, and building works began shortly thereafter in 2010.

library of birmingham harry cock

The building was opened in September 2013 by Malala Yousafzi, a young girl who survived a Taliban attempt on her life and now campaigns for women’s rights from Birmingham.

library of birmingham construction newsroom interior

The building is centred around a large, circular stairwell. Higher floors look down into the basement of the library.

library of birmingham harry cock interior stairwell

The futuristic design has large escalators and curved book-cases housing over 400,00 books on the public floors.

library of birmingham construction newsroom interior

The Amphitheatre is a modern interpretation of Roman design, where an amphitheatre was traditionally used for gladiatorial shows and horse racing.

library of birmingham amphitheatre harry cock newsroom

The Amphitheatre of the Library of Birmingham is home to cultural entertainment, ranging from live music to exhibitions.view library of birmingham window harry cock newsroom

The new Library of Birmingham has a wealth of facilities, including over 200 public access computers, spread over 9 floors.

library of birmingham gallery harry cock

 The Gallery, sharing artwork and photography exhibitions cements the Library of Birmingham’s position as a cultural hub. Visitors also benefit from the panoramic city views.

Images of construction property of Birmingham Newsroom. Images of Library of Birmingham property of Harry Cock for Library of Birmingham.

The modern architecture of Birmingham

The city skyline in Birmingham is increasingly changing with a collection of modern architecture. These buildings are becoming iconic for our city, and are well worth visiting if you haven’t already!

library of birmingham elliott brown birmingham modern architectureLibrary of Birmingham by Elliott Brown

Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham is one of the newest additions to the Birmingham skyline. Built on the site of a car park,  and has quickly become  a city landmark. The exterior of the library is clad in metal geometric shapes, linking to the cladding of The Selfridges Building. The interior revolves around a huge circular stairwell, which is definitely worth exploring.

selfridges building by brianac37 birmingham modern architectureThe Selfridges Building by Brianac37 

The Selfridges Building

Costing around £40 million to construct, The Selfridges Building is unmistakable. The building is clad in 15,000 aluminium disks, giving it a futuristic exterior. Inside, the Selfridges department store offers retail and dining outlets. The store is currently undergoing redevelopment work costing around £25 million, including the recent transformation of the Beauty Hall.

millennium point by guy evans modern architecture birminghamMillennium Point by Guy Evans

Millennium Point

Millennium Point and the Eastside building mark the beginning of the redevelopment of Birmingham Eastside, implemented by the Big City Plan the the current plans for the HS2 development. Millennium Point houses Birmingham ThinkTank and an IMAX screen, while both buildings are sites for Birmingham City University facilities, with a second phase of build currently in construction.

staying cool rotuda birmingham modern architectureImage property of Staying Cool

Birmingham Rotunda

The Rotunda has had a varied history and has divided opinion throughout Birmingham. Once a block of offices, the building has been developed by Staying Cool and UrbanSplash to provide an apart-hotel and luxury living accommodation.

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All about the Library of Birmingham

 

 

selfridges building the bullring birmingham by Brianac37 

All about The Selfridges Building

 

 

birmingham rotunda by Holly Occhipinti

 

All about Birmingham Rotunda

 

Library of Birmingham

History

Following extensive planning and various location choices by Birmingham City Council, a plot between the Rep Theatre and Baskerville House, originally a public car park, was decided as the home of the new Library of Birmingham. An international competition was run by the Royal Institute of British Architects to find an architect to design the building. Mecanoo and Bruno Happold were chosen as the winners and went on to unveil plans for the new development in April 2009.

The library was formally opened on 3rd September 2013 by Malala Yousafzai, a schoolgirl who, following the survival of a Taliban attack, has campaigned for educational and women’s rights from Birmingham, UK.

The Library of Birmingham won overall West Midlands Building of the Year at the RIBA West Midlands Awards.

It is important to note that the original Central Library is located in Chamberlain Square. It was the city’s library from 1974 to 2013. The old library has failed to gain listed building status and will be demolished in 2014 to make way for a redevelopment of Paradise Circus.

10575381886_3006630d4a_bimage property of Tony Hisgett

Fact file:

Location: Centenary Square, Birmingham

Built: 2010-2013

Style: Postmodern

Architect: Francaine Houben

Use: Library

Further reading: