IDA 2022 winners announced!
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Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners
Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo | International Design Awards Winners

Library of Birmingham

CompanyMecanoo
Lead DesignersFrancine Houben
ClientFrancine Houben
Prize(s)Silver in Architecture Categories / Institutional
Project LinkView
Entry Description

The Library of Birmingham is the city’s new cultural heart,



blending its character into its programming and design,



and connecting people of all ages, cultures and



backgrounds. Designed to be an extension of the street,



the library is a profoundly public experience blurring



building and pedestrian path. Its cantilever is not only a



large canopy that provides shelter at the common



entrance of the library and the adjoining Repertory



Theatre, but also forms a grand city balcony offering



views of the square below.















The library’s key public void, a circular patio recessed into



the square, affords a glimpse of the inner library world,



drawing people inside and inspiring them to embark on a



journey of discovery. Moving from one floor to the next



through interconnected rotundas that serve as the main



vertical circulation route, visitors see ever changing vistas



unfold through its delicate filigree skin of interlocking



circles. The filigree screen is inspired by the artisan



tradition of this once industrial city and plays out in



shadows and reflections on the library’s walls and floors.















A ‘people’s palace’, the Library of Birmingham is a center



of learning, information and culture that helps to foster



the city’s knowledge economy. Here architecture, urban



design, and engineering work in concert: elevators and



escalators placed dramatically in the rotundas of the



library not only draw connections between the eight



circular spaces within the building but they create a



library experience that is socially vibrant, comfortable and



inspiring.















The 35,000m2 program, rated BREEAM Excellent, consists



of an adult and children’s library, study spaces, music



library, business and learning center, multimedia facilities,



archives, the relocated 1882 Shakespeare Memorial



Room, roof gardens and terraces, offices, gallery spaces,



cafes and lounge area, new auditorium shared with



integrated and refurbished Repertory Theatre, and



a ‘back of house’ including offices, workshops and



rehearsal studios.