Birminghams Grand New Library Unveiled

Plans by Mecanoo Architecten of Holland for a new £193 million library in the centre of Birmingham have been unveiled.The existing library in central Birmingham was built in the 1970s and has gradually become dated and insufficient for the uses it finds demanded of it.Not only has information technology rapidly improved meaning that libraries need the latest in computer networking and fast internet access, but the storage space for the older books that it has.The 31,000 square metre scheme which builds on the long traditions of what is the oldest public lending library in Britain will have 9 floors and be able to double the current user capacity of Birmingham Library from 5,000 to 10,000 people a day.The new library will be an iconic landmark and a testament to the role Birmingham will play in the 21st century as a truly global city.The new designs are further evidence of our intention to attract world-class architects to work with the city, and these designs support our ambition to create a building which will bring people together, nurture creativity, allow far greater access to our cultural heritage, and act as a focal hub within the city and the region.” At ground level it will be integrated with the Repertory Theatre, whilst there will also be access to next door via the mezzanine level, something that will create the beginning of an integrated cultural quarter. It will also enable both the buildings to share combined foyers and restaurants and make access to these facilities more efficient.Blocky in mass, the building will be clad in transparent glass and a complicated patterned metal filigree dominated by interlocking circles that sheath the building in thin chain mail-like armour revealing the perimeter columns behind it. 

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