Mecanoo Library of Birmingham


Christian Richters,

Libraries, Ville, Sport & Wellness,


The delicate filigree covering Birmingham library is Mecanoo’s way of paying homage to the city’s tradition of craftsmanship.

Mecanoo Library of Birmingham
Birmingham public library, designed by Mecanoo architectural studios in 2009 and opened recently, stands in Centenary Square, one of the city?s main squares. Located next to the Repertory Theatre (REP) and Baskerville House, buildings of great importance in the city?s history, the Dutch architects? building aspires to complete the square?s monumental, cultural and entertainment value.

The new clear glass building is covered with metal filigree formed by superimposing two designs: a pattern of big black circles and another pattern of small white circles. The architects chose this texture to symbolise and recall Birmingham?s tradition of craftsmanship, both in the city?s steel industry and in its work with precious metals. On the roof of the building, visible from the square, is the space containing the Shakespeare Memorial Room, the reading room designed by John Henry Chamberlain in 1882 to contain the Shakespeare Library.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Design: Mecanoo Architecten
Location: Birmingham, UK
Images: courtesy of Mecanoo ph.Christian Richters



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