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First look: Mecanoo’s Birmingham library

Dutch practice Mecanoo has released the first images of its proposed £193 million Library of Birmingham

The 31,000m² building will be wrapped in a ‘delicate metal filigree’ and is due to open in 2013.

Construction work on the site - which is located on Centenary Square between the 1970s Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the 1930s Baskerville House - is expected to start in 2010.

Francine Houben, Founding Partner of Mecanoo Architecten, said: ‘I am inspired by the energy of this great city. I hope that the adventure of going through the building will draw many more people towards the joy of learning and reading, and even just to simply experience the pleasure of social interaction that a great public space can provide.’

Readers' comments (3)

  • Yet another example of showpiece architecture that pays no attention to context and scale.

    Thankfully i can already imagine the outrage that this nonsense will evoke from the local population.

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  • Does this address the city?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I went to school in Birmingham and used the current library (John Madin 1969-74) on a regular basis: it is a building which works, has integrity, and is a notable example of civic architecture of its time. To demolish it is wanton vandalism, of course, and the proposed replacement appears to be obsessed with surface in a way similar to the Birmingham Selfridges, which is a desperately disappointing building. Andy Foster's Pevsner re-write of 2005 warns "it will be tragic if history repeats itself and the building is destroyed"....

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