Mecanoo was selected from a short list of seven major architects to design the largest library in Europe
Announced today, Dutch Mecanoo architecten, led by Francine Houben, have been selected to design the new Â£193 million Library of Birmingham. The new Library will be developed on a prime site on Centenary Square, and is scheduled to open in 2013 and promises to be the largest library in Europe.
Francine Houben said today: â€œWe are excited to have been selected to design a Library integrated with the famous Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which will become the social heart of the city. Mecanoo loves to create unforgettable collective spaces, inside and outside. We hope to create a peopleâ€™s palace, warm and welcoming.â€
Picture: the current Birmingham Central Library by John Madin, 1974
Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: â€œWith their creativity, vision, experience and international pedigree, I believe Mecanoo are the perfect choice to help us deliver an innovative world-class building which the people of Birmingham can be truly proud of. Their enthusiasm and understanding for the project, coupled with a track record for delivering visually exciting yet practicable and user friendly buildings, really made them stand out.â€
Mecanoo was selected from an international shortlist, which included Foster + Partners, Foreign Office Architects, Hopkins Architects, OMA, Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Wilkinson Eyre.
The new development will replace the current 1970s building and will bring together the Library of Birmingham and the Birmingham Rep (repeated) to create a major cultural center for the city. The development will provide state of the art facilities for the busiest public library in Europe, a new frontage for the theater and a number of shared amenities, including a new medium sized auditorium.
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