Palazzos Centenary Square, the largest public square in central Birmingham, does not have a cohesion or a unique atmosphere. Mecanoo ‘s remarkable design transforms the square in three different areas: monumental, cultural and entertainment. Today, however, our focus is the Library of Birmingham which was designed in 2009.
The Library of Birmingham is a transparent glass building which gives a sense of special atmosphere in the area. Its architecture is inspired by the artisan tradition of the city. There are elevators and escalators in the centre of the library and they provide easy connections between the eight circular spaces within the building. The circular architectural elements are important not only for the architectural look of the library, but they also provide natural light and ventilation.
On the rooftop rotunda we find the Shakespeare Memorial Room, designed in 1882. This prime position of the Victorian reading room makes it visible from the square and it appears to be a distinguishable element of the library.
Although the library is a transparent building, it still maintains energy efficiency. Sun shading and reflective materials which are used in the facades block the sun rays in afternoons and they let the natural daylight flow into the remarkable interiors.
If you make your way to Birmingham, you should definitely allot some time to visit and admire this impressive library, one of the city’s symbols.