Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo

The Library of Birmingham designed by Dutch agency Mecanoo occupies the Centenary Square, the largest public square in the heat of birmingham. This area lacks cohesion and clear identity or atmosphere.
Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom, render © Mecanoo

The main idea is to transform this square into three core elements: monumental, cultural and entertainment. The library will be more a cultural center than a library. The building will be cantilevered forming a large canopy. Not only will this canopy provide shelter at the common entrance of the Library of Birmingham and the Concrete building Repertory Theatre (known as REP) which will be attached to the library, but also forms a grand city balcony with views of the events and happenings on the square.
Construction photography © Mecanoo

This REP will share with the library a box office, a reception desk, shared programs and events.
The library will contain a unique outdoor amphitheatre for performances that will penetrate the ground and be attached on an underground level to the main structure.
© Mecanoo

This building will incorporate grey water systems and ground source heat pumps that will help maintain energy efficiency through the buffering capacity of the of the building mass and the atria. A mixed mode and natural ventilation strategy will also be integrated.
© Mecanoo

Sun shading and reflective materials will be used for the windows that perforate the transparent facade allowing natural light and fresh air to penetrate within the building. Facade will also incorporate passive solar heating.
The circular patio which will cut out of the square will act as protected outdoor space inviting daylight deep into the building.
© Mecanoo

The roof will be included to the sustainable strategy in that it will act as a soft landscaped roof spaces with the aim of enhancing the immediate surrounding conditions.

Building facts
Project: Library of Birmingham
Program: library with adult and children library, study centre, music library, community health centre, multimedia, archives, Shakespeare Memorial Room, offices, exhibition halls, cafes and lounge space, new shared auditorium (300 seats with neighbouring Repertory Theatre and urban plan for Centenary Square)
Architects: Mecanoo
Location: Centenary Square, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Size: 35,000 sqm
Client: Birmingham City Council
Design: 2008-2010
Completion year: 2010-2013

Rendering © Mecanoo

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