15 December 2010
Internal design images offering the first look inside the Library
of Birmingham have been unveiled.
Capita Symonds is project and cost manager on the scheme
which will comprise ten floors - nine floors above ground and one
below ground - and is expected to attract up to 10,000 visitors per
day. The development will also include a new flexible circa 300
seat studio theatre which will be shared by both the library and
the adjoining Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
With the main service cores of the building now in place and the
lower floor structures beginning to take shape, the images,
produced by architects Mecanoo, provide members of the public with
a preview of what can be expected when the library opens its doors
The two new images show a concept view of the new outdoor
amphitheatre in Centenary Square, as well as a first look at the central
rotunda inside the library.
Operating as a main focal point of the building, the central
rotunda features a breathtaking wall of books across several
floors, with the image showing an improved environment with
user-friendliness at its core. Wide travelators and escalators
provide links between floors, while spacious public areas are
flooded with natural light.
The outdoor amphitheatre, meanwhile, promises to become a hugely
popular feature of the new building upon completion. Accessible
from the music and children’s sections of the Library of
Birmingham, the amphitheatre will provide the perfect space for
outdoor performance and activity which can be viewed from onlookers
in the above Centenary Square.
Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I helped
start the building work at the Library of Birmingham in January
amid weather conditions not dissimilar to those we have seen
recently, and it’s remarkable to see how much progress has been
made since then. The project is running on time and with savings in
the budget, and this is testament to the hard work of the project
team and our construction partners.
...I’m confident that the public will be delighted with the results as this world-class building continues to take shape...
“The images released today prove that the Library of Birmingham
will be a people’s palace at the heart of the city, offering the
clearest indication of what the building will offer upon
completion. We now look ahead to 2011, which promises to be another
year of remarkable progress. Construction milestones in the next
year will include the topping out of the concrete frame, the
installation of glazing, and the application of the distinctive
frieze, and I’m confident that the public will be delighted with
the results as this world-class building continues to take
New features to be included in the library include a teenage
zone for young people to relax, meet friends and chill out, and a
contemplation room for prayer and quiet thought.
The building will also boast two garden terraces, providing the
idyllic setting to read, relax, or to enjoy the stunning views
across the city.
Meanwhile, accessibility will be greatly improved thanks to
wide, level access from Centenary Square, a spacious open plan
foyer and generous circulation routes. In addition, four public
lifts will be large enough for wheelchair and pushchair
The building is being constructed by Carillion Construction.