RIBA Regional Awards 2014: West Midlands
Library of Birmingham
Mecanoo for Birmingham City Council
Contract £186m. GIA 35,000m2
The filigree on the elevations is the signature of this landmark new library, creating a strong sense of place and ever changing vistas from within. The library is a significant public investment, playing an important role in Birmingham’s Centenary Square. It has set a precedent for the scale of other buildings there, which helps to animate the place and set up a sense of enclosure. The building’s intriguing section connects the internal atrium to the square outside, creating a number of levels where users can enjoy the spaces. The journey through the building reveals itself through an interlocking atrium, connecting volumes and providing glimpses of natural light. From the ‘Harry Potter’ rotunda to the ‘Willy Wonka’ glass lift, the library is a journey of discovery and fun, for all ages and backgrounds. It is an impressive and bold addition to the city.