Report - Birmingham Central Library - Aug 15

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jun 20, 2014
Explored with FatPanda, Raz & Jord


Bit of History;

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 Summer 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.

The Explore

First stop of the day, and things didnt look promising as we walked around the edges of this derpy monster and we were very surpised that we actually got a preview in the form of a public walk way through the middde of the courtyard :thumb


Noting weaknesses in the defence as we went, one thing lead to another and soon we were taking a leisurely stroll through the workers equipment room. No need for torches in this one, in the areas where the walls aren't glass, the demolition company have kindly assisted with lamps to guide the way... How thoughtful of them ;)


Structually it is a great building, in terms of the little nick nacks inside its a shell, a building site.

However here are a few snaps of our time here;






Thanks for looking :thumb


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jun 20, 2014
August 15th? Did you drive there in a Delorean? Either way, top job. Been meaning to try the library out. Do they work all through the week here?
@Eight-Seven We went on a Sunday morning and it was sound - not a soul in sight apart from 2 secca who were about as much use a nettle toilet seat :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Aug 1, 2015
Hello, could you private message me if possible??? I'm after some locations as I'm running out :/ I'm happy to share some locations with you that I've been also, if you haven't already explored ha!

Hope to hear from you soon!


redxrag on instagram
28DL Full Member
Oct 3, 2014
Spiral staircase isn't there no more. It is slowly been internally ripped down but their trying to hold it out as long as possible like you said, for the grand listed grant to come through in January. I don't think people understand how much drama ripping this place down will cause. The under passage will be closed for months, and their will be no direct route through from one side of town up towards the new library and further on. I really hope it doesn't go though, such a iconic and beautiful place. I love your photos by the way, everytime i see new angles of this place, makes it look more and more incredible.
Likes: Hydro

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