“We are juxtaposing culture and regeneration on a far greater scale than any other UK city,” said Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council. “Through the strategic investment of £193m, into a landmark for the region, we will lever in millions of pounds of investment. Already people are excited about the confidence we have in our future, and want to be a part of our story.”
The Mecanoo Architects-designed library will occupy a prime site on Centenary Square between the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) and Baskerville House. A shared entrance to the Library and The REP will be sheltered below a public balcony, creating a space to watch events in the square. Above the balcony, the building volume steps away, creating a second open-air space, an elevated garden with spectacular views over the city.
The most dramatic feature of the 31,000 sq m library is its intricate metal filigree façade, inspired by Birmingham’s rich craftsmanship and industrial history. In all the building will provide 20% more space than the existing Birmingham Central Library and will be capable of taking up to 10,000 visitors a day.