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.
image property of Tony Hisgett
Location: Centenary Square, Birmingham
Architect: Francaine Houben