Birmingham Library

Mecanoo, Birmingham, 2013


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Christian Richters (website)     Download Original

  • 4317-037    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Level 1 plan    
  • Level 2 plan    
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  • Detail    

Central city library arranged around a circular atrium, clad with a skin of overlapping aluminium rings

The building stands in Centenary Square, between Baskerville House and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on the site of a former car park.

Internally the 35,000m² library is arranged around a circular atrium that changes in size as it rises through the building.

A ‘golden box’ of secure archive storage, which contains the city’s collection of archives, photography and rare books, occupies two upper levels of the building, with the Shakespeare Memorial Room, a Victorian reading room lined with wood from the first Birmingham Central Library at the top of the building. Two roof gardens allow visitors to look down into the square, where an amphitheatre acts as a performance space. A new flexible studio theatre is shared with the recently refurbished 1971 REP building next door.

The building is clad with a skin of overlapping aluminium rings.


  • Begun: Jan 2010
  • Completed: May 2013
  • Floor area: 35,000m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £188.8M
  • Address: Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2ND, United Kingdom

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