The new £188.8 million Library of Birmingham, a major cultural destination for the city, is now open in Centenary Square to transform the city’s library service. It is expected to attract over three million visitors a year, with even more online.
Comprising of ten levels, with nine above ground, an intricate metal façade echoes the gasometers, tunnels, canals and viaducts which fuelled Birmingham’s industrial growth, wrapping the building from the first to the eighth floor.
Designed by Dutch architects, Mecanoo, with leading award-winning support services and construction company, Carillion, and Capita Symonds as project managers, it features a spacious entrance and foyer with mezzanine, the gateway to both the library and The REP, a new flexible studio theatre seating 300 people, a lower ground level with a performance area and children’s spaces including Story Steps, four further public levels and two outdoor garden terraces.
A ‘golden box’ of secure archive storage occupies two levels of the building, within which the city’s internationally significant collection of archives, photography and rare books will be stored. These include one of the world’s largest Shakespeare collections, the Parker Collection of Children’s Books and Games, the Early and Fine Printing Collection and the Boulton& Watt archive.
Read the rest of the article in the August edition of Street Cred Magazine