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Birmingham does want 'architect of international renown' for £193m library

The long-running Birmingham Library saga has taken yet another twist with news that the Birmingham City Council (BCC) is now to press ahead with an international design competition for the £193 million facility.

Following today’s appointment of Capita Symonds to project manage the scheme, the council has confirmed that it will require an ‘architect of international renown’ to develop the scheme.

Brian Gambles, assistant director of culture at BCC, said: ‘It will be an international competition. It will go out [as an OJEU notice] next week and we will cast our net further afield to generate an international competition.

‘We have gone off the terms ‘iconic’ and ‘signature’, but this scheme really will be a genuine landmark building and we want an architect of internationally renown.’

Gambles, who added that the winning architect ‘could, of course come from the UK,’ said the council was looking into ways to generate an international competition and he expected an appointment by the summer.

In November BCC appeared to have backtracked on plans for a worldwide competition when city regeneration director, Clive Dutton, stated that the council ‘…are not recommending a full international design competition.’ (26/10/07).

The controversial scheme will involve the demolition of Architect John Madin's Birmingham Central (1/10/07).

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