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Old July 31st, 2012, 08:23 AM   #861
Soul_13
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I hate all this commie shit, the design is brilliant...

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Old July 31st, 2012, 09:12 PM   #862
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It's great that this is now going ahead, and I like the fact that sight-lines will be opened up, especially the one running from the Hall of Memory to the bridge linking the Council House and BMAG. However, having opened up the sight-lines aren't the developers creating a series of ground-level "tunnels" e.g. New Central Street? I know that's probably down to commercial interests, but I think the commercial element has trumped the municipal element in the layout proposed.

Having the Council House and BMAG as a back-drop to an urban space must be an urban developer's dream, but I still think those building are being crowded out by the new buildings. This is a wonderful opportunity to show them off. Ideally, I'd take that building in the middle of the development out completely, and really open up the urban space.

As a compromise, I'd take the line of the new buildings back to create a slightly larger Chamberlain Square - I tried and failed miserably to post an amended copy of the image below to demonstrate what I mean, so if you can imagine a line starting at the C in Congreve - to the second t in (New Central) Street - to the r in (Southern) Square? Maybe the buildings in the northern reaches of Northern Square could be built higher to compensate for the loss of space, possibly with a tower or two to "talk" to Big Brum.

The building next to the Town Hall presents a brilliant opportunity to create a twin Town Halls effect, so that the new building has the same dimensions as the Town Hall, but in built in different materials and for a different purpose, both looking onto Chamberlain Square with Ratcliffe Passage running through the middle.

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Old August 1st, 2012, 10:49 AM   #863
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This is an improvement on what was at the consultation a few months back but if 1.4million sq ft office space is going to delivered to market on this site over the next 15 years it's going kill anything happening at Arena Central for at least another decade.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 10:52 AM   #864
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If the bridge over the queensway and the pedestrian level through the existing library was being altered and improved than I could understand why the Ziggurat had to go, but they're not. Instead they're just losing one of the most architectural significant buildings in the whole of the city centre and what I see at potentially the most interesting and exciting building on the site. A squandered opportunity.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 12:15 PM   #865
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....or the justified removal or a poorly designed, terribly executed carbuncle of a building that has blighted the site pretty much since the day it was built.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 12:22 PM   #866
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Try it again without unnatural brightness and filters. It wouldn't look like that at all. It would look as it always has done: dark, dingy, concrete, and completely inappropriate for such a throughfare.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 12:22 PM   #867
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Blighted the site? You might want to tell all the people who've made this Birmingham's most popularly used public building that it is in fact a blight. All the people who walk through it everyday that they are walking through a blight, and should clearly find an alternate route.

Oh, yes. Rumours of this building's apparently poor design have been greatly exaggerated.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:00 PM   #868
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Have you been through Paradise Forum recently? I can't imagine anyone would do it by choice, it's horrible. The building itself may be a great building, but having the route through it just isn't "nice" (nice, of course, being down to personal taste). Personal opinion, I know, but having a route without a concrete building above it would be better, whether this is around it or replacing it. It's the same with that tower in Coventry city centre that floats above the high street.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:25 PM   #869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBadger View Post
Have you been through Paradise Forum recently? I can't imagine anyone would do it by choice, it's horrible. The building itself may be a great building, but having the route through it just isn't "nice"
Yes, it is horrible. It's a bottleneck at big civic event's, the retail units have years of crap and dust on them which is clearly visible from inside the library, the ceramic tiled floor is cracked all over the place and Paradise Place is still a disgrace.

Who's responsible for that? Argent filled it with a bookies, Weatherspoons, McDonalds, Gregs, Nandos, Spa and a 'no fee no win' lawyers stand right in the centre. They've run rings around the city leadership and have now seduced them with this masterplan which everyone can see has been prepared in order to remove the Madin library as it's a political inconvenience.

The city leaders will sleep happily and Argent will make a load of money at the expense of what is the right and obvious.

Last edited by U475 Foxtrot; August 1st, 2012 at 01:31 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 04:33 PM   #870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_like_concrete View Post
Blighted the site? You might want to tell all the people who've made this Birmingham's most popularly used public building that it is in fact a blight. All the people who walk through it everyday that they are walking through a blight, and should clearly find an alternate route.

Oh, yes. Rumours of this building's apparently poor design have been greatly exaggerated.
Its the only decent route from one half of the city centre to the other. That alone is the reason so many people use it on a daily basis.

Most people who walk through it do think its a 'Blight'. How else would there be so much Political will to remove it.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 05:04 PM   #871
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It's effectively a building on top of a bridge that's over a road and this isn't changing.

This masterplan addresses accessibility but what is being put forward could be done without completely demolishing the library.

New Street is currently a far worse blight and look what's being to to improve the public realm and accessibility without total demolition.

Last edited by U475 Foxtrot; August 1st, 2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 06:36 PM   #872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U475 Foxtrot
It's effectively a building on top of a bridge that's over a road and this isn't changing.

This masterplan addresses accessibility but what is being put forward could be done without completely demolishing the library.

New Street is currently a far worse blight and look what's being to to improve the public realm and accessibility without total demolition.
New street is being done this way out of necessity. It would be impossible to close New street and rebuild it as we don't have the capacity at other stations to handle it.
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 08:17 PM   #873
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I don't think the library itself is dingey, dark or a blight, its everything that surrounds it, people don't mind walking through the library itself to get to centenary square, its walking the other way from Sandpits into the section by Nandos that is the problem, I bet almost everyone is glad to get IN the library section walking from that direction.

As for New St, It is essentially a new build with all the work and alterations going on
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 12:31 PM   #874
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Potentially this could be really great development, but materials need to be really high quality, it's a bit sad to see the library go, I'd have liked to see what could have been achieved with a clean up and removal of the buildings around it.

My slight worry here is that we may end up with large scale office/chain type brands/companies occupying a space that leads to a wind tunnel and act merely as a walk way between the two squares, I'd like to see plenty of greenery, a tree lined boulevard would have been lovely here, more art features and maybe an additional water feature to compliment Chamberlain Square and Victoria Square. There is room for a single iconic building here and possibly small shop space along the main route between teh two squares. Initial plans look interesting but I'm sure there's more to go yet.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 10:18 PM   #875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U475 Foxtrot View Post
Yes, it is horrible. It's a bottleneck at big civic event's, the retail units have years of crap and dust on them which is clearly visible from inside the library, the ceramic tiled floor is cracked all over the place and Paradise Place is still a disgrace.

Who's responsible for that? Argent filled it with a bookies, Weatherspoons, McDonalds, Gregs, Nandos, Spa and a 'no fee no win' lawyers stand right in the centre. They've run rings around the city leadership and have now seduced them with this masterplan which everyone can see has been prepared in order to remove the Madin library as it's a political inconvenience.

The city leaders will sleep happily and Argent will make a load of money at the expense of what is the right and obvious.

I'm confused at what you're trying to say Foxtrot? "Argent will make a laod of money at the expense of what is right and obvious"?? Argent were not responsible for plonking the Library where it is. Argent have done their best to brighten and bring into use the awful windy damp and souless void that used to be there. Yes the offering might not be to your liking but at least its "buzzing" with people and it was only ever meant to be a temporary fix to improve the dire state it was in before. There are only two routes from Broad Street through to New Street, the Library or Fletchers Walk, some choice! The council wanted the Library to go not Argent unless I'm missing something. Argent have listened to and worked with numerous stakeholders and groups to bring forward the Masterplan and are still doing so. The council will shortly sign off on a finished new Library...Madin's Library even used differently blocks off half the city centre..Sorry but we need to remodel this important link plot to join up the city.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #876
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Good to see that this is progressing now but I can't help but feel that whilst the masterplan makes good sense, it's a little bit plain? The developers can afford to get a bit fancy on the Centenary Square side but it's very restrained.

Although the designs are indicative, I'm hoping that more flair is added to them when detailed applications are submitted.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #877
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Why the Southbank Centre redevelopment plan is sheer folly"
gu.com/p/39eqq

I thought this had some similarities with Central Library.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #878
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_like_concrete View Post
...


It's just a contemporary equivalent, except, it'll now be private land, Chamberlain square will be loomed over not by a civic building, but by corporate blocks, sterile and watched over by private security staff.

The scale and mass of what is proposed will far exceed the current bulk and heights of what is on site.
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Oh, yes. Rumours of this building's apparently poor design have been greatly exaggerated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by U475 Foxtrot View Post
It's effectively a building on top of a bridge that's over a road and this isn't changing.

This masterplan addresses accessibility but what is being put forward could be done without completely demolishing the library.
I am afraid I have to disagree with these points.

I too am sad that we are losing an interesting building, but that's it - it's interesting. It IS a bad design because after 30-40 years (well, after about 20 actually) it proved to be unsuitable as a library and archive. It is also a terrible piece of urban design which is being addressed in part by allowing pedestrians access to the whole site.

This scheme is a JV between Argent and BCC, and irrespective of who owns the land, Argent have proved their worth in taking sites and doing good with them. Some of their work aren't the most exciting but to be honest they take on awful project and make something nice. And what's wrong with nice? Argent has said that this will be public public realm with an estate management similar to Brindleyplace, but of course the buildings will be private.

I agree with i_l_c's earlier point that flat roofs are a bit dull - let's have some pitches and 3 interest up there please.

Finally, no-one has come forward with a viable use for the current library, and they have had 5-10 years to do so.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #879
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Flat roofs galore.

Disappointingly average masterplan.
Think I have to agree there. The buildings themselves aren't really groundbreaking or at least unique either. You see those style of buildings anywhere in London, Manchester, Liverpool.....

A lover of the Central Library I may be, but, it's life has come to an end. Despite never really having a life. I think however that something should be done to remember the library, or something to remember John Madin's Architecture and Development made to the city.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #880
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The building renders are indicative and don't represent what is actually proposed.
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