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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:26 AM   #1
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Central Library - Birmingham (Richard Rogers)

This is the scheme that has been deigned by Richard Rogers for the new Birmingham library. If built, it will become the 10th largest Library in the world. Unfrotunately funding for the scheme has gotten it into a bit of a pickle at the moment and the return of the conservatives to power in the local council hasnt helped. Hopefully next year when the elections come back round Labour will get back in and this scheme can finally get under way. Anyway here you go.

Quote - Richard Rogers: ..."The Pompidou is the most visited public building in Europe, and two thirds of those visitors come to use the library and a third to the museum," he said. "There`s no reason it should not be the same in Birmingham.

"We are extremely excited by the building as a team. We believe it`s our best public building since the Pompidou Centre. Of course, we really enjoyed building the Dome, but here we`ve actually got something to put in it" ...

Location: Birmingham, Eastside
Type: Education
Cost: £130,000,000
Area: 35,000 m2
Architects: Richard Rogers
Structural Engineer: Arup

Description: The new library, elliptical in form, is located in a new park that forms the heart of the re-born Eastside. The aspiration is to achieve a strong synergy between the park and the library, with park-related activities drawing people into the library and library events, in turn, animating the park. The main pedestrian route from the city centre, connecting the Bullring to Millennium Point, passes through the site, assuming the form of a great galleria between the main library and a separate block, known as the Co-locator building. This will house a range of community and cultural activities and will form a visual and acoustic barrier against the adjacent, heavily-used railway. This new street allows views through to the interior of the library and serves to introduce other complimentary cultural and social activities within the Eastside area.

The library itself is characterised by a great roof which forms a canopy over the entire building, the street and the external park. Its concave top surface defines a ‘sky park’ containing areas for quiet study and contemplation. The roof is conceived as a simple, elegant and powerful form that defines the urban presence of the library and provides a high degree of flexibility and change without compromising the powerful presence of the overall form.

The library floors are arranged as a clear, flexible system, sheltering beneath the great roof. An elliptical zone in the centre, designed to support the high loads of the library stacks, form the main spine of this space, from which a series of lighter petal-like floors are attached.

At the roof of the Library there will be a public garden overlooking the city's skyline and the new Eastside urban park.


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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:10 AM   #2
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The design, as expected from Richard Rogers looks fantastic. Let's hope the funding is raised because it will be one hell of a building.

Last edited by Sikario; June 16th, 2005 at 06:10 PM.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #3
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Looking forward to this one... will it only go ahead if Labour get back in?
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:40 PM   #4
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Looks fantastic... I love that roof, and the trees/green spaces. Very nice.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Britannia
Looking forward to this one... will it only go ahead if Labour get back in?
It's Labour's pet project, and the Tories have basically scrapped it, apparently due to lack of funds, but to me it looks more like political snideyness. I can't see it being built even if Labour get straight back in to be honest. Elections aren't till next year, and with the impending redevelopment of Paradise Circus, I imagine a new home will be fond for the library before Labour can stop it. Which is a crying shame, because it would have been a top drawer library. Bastards.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #6
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if only we'd got the Capital of Culture bid, i bet this would be about to start!

it annoys me that the council even thought of replacing this with a "baskerville house library". Baskerville House it's a pretty boring building (tho by Birmingham it's one of our nicer big blocks) but it's hardly going to bring people from all over the world to see it.

fingers crossed that somehow this design can be completed in this shape...
It happens...
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #7
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I'm afraid this will join Birmingham's long "One that got away" list.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 04:11 PM   #8
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I still wouldnt be suprised if it was built. They are struggling to find a place for the new library, and Baskerville house isnt the best place, and I think they realise this, so you never know even the Conservatives might do a U-Turn.

P.S Paradise is still 2 years away from start aswell, plenty of time. Plus Richard Rogers and co. have spent alot of time on this project. I cant see it being scrapped completely, not to mention his also got a project next to it which is currently being considered for a height increase of 9 floors.

City Park Gate - Located right infront of the Library and next to Masshouse.

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Old June 16th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #9
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Umm interesting article from today - Birmingham always has to do things the extra hard way ...

'Kept in dark' over library

Jun 16 2005
By Neil Elkes, Evening Mail

BRUMMIES are being kept in the dark about the future of the city's Central Library, it was claimed today.

Labour councillors have urged the authority's Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders to make public a hitherto secret report into the future of the troubled building.

Consultants were recently called in to look at various options for a new library after council leader Coun Mike Whitby put on hold plans by the previous Labour administration.

It had drawn up proposals for a modern library at the heart of a new park, opposite Millennium Point in the Eastside district.

But the trendy design, by leading architect Sir Richard Rogers, carried a price tag estimated at anything from £150-200 million.

Coun Whitby instead called in consultants Gardiner and Theobold and asked them to look at other options, including using Baskerville House, in Centenary Square, or building a new library on the present site in Paradise Forum.

Although they have completed their report, the recommendations have yet to be made public and Labour believes it is because the document may favour their original Eastside scheme. Labour deputy leader Coun Ian Ward said: "It's time the Tory-Lib Dem leadership came clean and published the library report.

"The taxpayers of Birmingham deserve to be told the facts because they will be required to make a financial contribution towards the new library.

"There has been nothing but silence and prevarication from the leadership since February."

He added that Labour still backed the Eastside option which they claim has the best chance of securing additional Government funding.

"The lack of vision and innovation shown by this current administration is in danger of putting at risk the regeneration of Eastside," he added.

Coun Whitby was today in Chicago and unable to comment but recently refused to outline his favoured library option.

He said: "I am not going to say anything that would jeopardise the library we all want to see'.

He added: "It will be a cabinet decision on the basis of sound advice.

"It will be funded sensibly and will not be a drain on the resources of this city and at the same time will be a modern resource of which we can all be proud."
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Old June 16th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #10
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Nice building, would look great standing upright though. Birmingham needs more developments like this, and needs to get Arean Central sorted NOW, as well as Eastside, birmingham stadium etc
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Old June 18th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #11
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Very nice building for Birmingham!I hope to see this built.
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