Exploring cities : Library of Birmingham

25th August 2017
by Lamar Francois

In March 2017 I got to visit the Library of Birmingham to make a series of photographs showcasing it’s quirky and imaginative exterior , and interior design mostly from a place of curiosity. The library opened in 2013 after three years of construction replacing the former Central Library  – one of its rooms preserved very nicely right at the top of the new building , making for quite a nice surprise.

It’s fantastic to see such grand and imaginative architecture being used for a public facility – something I feel is lacking a bit in our country. A very inspiring place to learn – and their collection of books was excellent to boot with a wide range of titles (including undergraduate level mathematics books!). I feel it’s important that efforts are made so that all members of the community can use and be inspired by leading edge modern architecture which you’d usually see on university campuses. Walking around the library there was indeed a wide variety of patrons from many different walks of life ,  and they were all extremely polite and I felt totally at ease photographing the interior. Didn’t bring a tripod but I would have likely not run into any issues using one.

With patronage to public libraries falling so much nationally facilities like Birmingham’s offer an important reminder of what a library can offer in the 21st Century.

Architects : Francis Houben / Mechanoo




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