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Ringing the changes

Year in review: 2013 Building of the Year

In an online vote, AJ readers have overwhelmingly selected Mecanoo’s 10-storey mega-library at Centenary Square in Birmingham (AJ 27.09.13) as their Building of the Year. Clad with a skin of aluminium rings, this piece of civic bling replaces John Madin’s soon-to-be-demolished Brutalist Central Library.

In a year in which the refreshed Park Hill made the Stirling Prize shortlist and the development of another Brutalist landmark, the Southbank Centre, made headline news, was Madin’s inverted ziggurat really too impractical to save? Still, with its new building Birmingham has made a bold civic statement at a time when financial pressures are forcing cities across the UK to close their libraries.

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