The Library of Birmingham, UK - A City Gem!

The Library of Birmingham, which opened in September 2013, is one of the most photographed of modern builds in the City. With so much to experience, a visit to the Library is a must!


The Library of Birmingham 

Centenary Square

Birmingham

B1 2EA

View site map HERE.

Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

Architect: Mecanoo (Netherlands based practice)

Construction: Led by Carillon

 

The building in brief

The building has been recognised for both its innovative design and for its positive social impact and has won numerous awards.

It is estimated to have cost £188.8 million to build. 

Pre-construction

Photography by Elliott Brown

During construction

Photography by Elliott Brown

Construction completed (2013)

Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Inside the Library of Birmingham

There is several basement levels (children's library), plus you can get the escalators up towards Level 3, and Travelator up to Level 4. Lifts or stairs takes you up to Level 7, and Level 9. Level's 5, 6 and 8 are staff only. The glass lift broke down after a year and has not been repaired.

 

Level 0

Library of Birmingham Escalators from Level 0 to Level 1 at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Level 2

Library of Birmingham Level 2 the Knowledge Floor at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Level 2 (what was formerly called the Knowledge Floor) as it is now as of mid August 2021.

Library of BirminghamLevel 2 the Knowledge Floor at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Travelator (level 3 to 4)

Library of Birmingham Travelator from Level 3 to Level 4 at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Travelator from level 3 to 4 as it is now as of mid August 2021.

TravelatorTravelator from Level 3 to Level 4 at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Level 7

Library of Birmingham Level 7 view down to Level 4 near the Glass Lift at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

History of the Library

Prior to the new build, the Birmingham's Library called Central Library was situated in Chamberlain Square.  

This site is now occupied by One Chamberlain Square, one of the modern flagship builds of the Paradise scheme.

The Central Library just before the start demolition in 2016 - Daniel Sturley

 

Baskerville Basin (site of The Library of Birmingham)

Prior to work commencing on the library in 2010, archaelogists were on site revealing the history of Baskerville Basin.

Post image

Photography by Elliott Brown.

Part of the canal network used to stretch into what is now Centenary Square but this was filled in during the 1930s to make way for a proposed Civic Centre. The excavation revealed intact brick walls of Baskerville Basin and a private canal built circa 1810 called Gibson's Arm. 

The map below printed in 1880 shows Baskerville Wharf between Cambridge Street and Broad Street. 

1880 map

 

The Secret Garden and Discovery Terrace at The Library of Birmingham 

Two roof top garden areas. Head up the escalators to level 3 for the Discovery Terrace. Or continue up the travelator to level 4, then walk around and catch the lift up to level 7 (or walk up the stairs) to get to the Secret Garden. Note that the glass lift broke down after a year of operation and has never been fixed, but there is about 3 lifts around the corner.

 

The Discovery Terrace

The Discovery Terrace is on Level 3 of the Library of Birmingham. There used to be revolving doors to get out here, but is now automatic doors. There is also a disabled button you can press to open the door.

Discovery Terrace Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Discovery Terrace as it is now during mid August 2021.

Discovery TerraceDiscovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Secret Garden

Go to level 7, via the lifts or stairs, to get to the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. Press the disabled button to open the door. For some amazing views, of the ever changing skyline.

Secret Garden Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Secret Garden as it is now as of mid August 2021.

Secret GardenSecret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Shakespeare Memorial Room at The Library of Birmingham 

At the top of the Library inside the Golden Cylinder is the Shakespeare Memorial Room. The original room was designed by John Henry Chamberlain in 1882 and it was founded by George Dawson and friends who believed that Birmingham should be home to the world's greatest collection of books by Shakespeare. As of September 2021, it is still closed to the public, as is access to Level 9.

Library of Birmingham

Photography by Elliott Brown.

Shakspeare Memorial Room

Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Contact

Library of Birmingham

Library of Birmingham on twitter

Library of Birmingham on facebook

Project dates

08 Mar 2018 - On-going

Passions

Construction & regeneration, Education, Modern Architecture

Contact

Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ yourplaceyourspace.com