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Report - Birmingham Central Library - August 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Raz, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Raz

    Raz 28DL Regular User
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    Birmingham Central Library was the main public library in Birmingham, England from 1974 until 2013. For a time the largest non-national library in Europe, it closed on 29 June 2013 and was replaced with the Library of Birmingham. The existing building was due to be demolished early in 2015 after 41 years, as part of the redevelopment of Paradise Circus by Argent Group. Designed by architect, John Madin in the brutalist style, the library was part of an ambitious development project by Birmingham City Council to create a civic centre on its new Inner Ring Road system; however due to economic reasons significant parts of the masterplan were not completed and quality was reduced on materials as an economic measure. Two previous libraries occupied the adjacent site before Madin’s library opened in 1974. The previous library was opened in 1883 and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain featuring a tall clerestoried reading room, this was demolished in 1974 after the new library had opened.

    Despite the original vision not being fully implemented the library has gained architectural praise as an icon of British Brutalism with its stark use of concrete, bold geometry, inverted ziggurat sculptural form and monumental scale. Its style was seen at the time as a symbol of social progressivism. Based on this, English Heritage applied and failed twice for the building to gain listed status. However, due to strong opposition from Birmingham City Council the building gained immunity from listing until 2016.

    In 2010–11 Central Library was the second most visited library in the country with 1,197,350 visitors



    Spent a good hour or so having a walk around the place but it is rather stripped and besides the brutalist architecture there isn't that much to see! It would of been nice to get up on the roof but due to the footpath straight through the middle we would of been spotted in no time!

    Couldn't be arsed to get my tripod out of the bag so some pictures are a little noisy :violin


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    Cheers for looking​
     
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  2. BrainL

    BrainL 28DL Full Member
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    Shame you didn't go up on the roof, we were up there for about an hour and nobody spotted us, give it a go if you go back, sure it'll be fine for you :)
     
  3. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Been up there twice and got spotted by shoppers several times, people don't give a shit. It's only worth it for the view from the top
     
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  4. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Nice Raz man...like the glass roof....great pics and report :thumb
     
  5. TryStar

    TryStar 28DL Full Member
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    Hey thinking of going here soon, is it still up and able to get into ?
     
  6. Six

    Six 28DL Regular User
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    It's gone....well 90% of it was a couple of weeks ago when I last walked past. Not worth it now.
     
  7. TryStar

    TryStar 28DL Full Member
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    Alrighty, thanks :D
     
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