University Library, Birmingham, UK

Associated Architects
Date Built
University of Birmingham - Edgbaston Campus
The architect's website explains that in 2009 they conducted a feasibility study for the University of Birmingham that concluded that its existing library required replacing rather than refurbishing.  The result of that decisiuon was the design and construction of this £60m building that the university describes as a "transformational" library.

Associated Architects say that their solution was to provide, "... greater accessibility to the building and circulation when in it. An internal north-south street carves out quiet study spaces on the perimeter of the building, whilst the central area aims to encourage a collaborative hub of activity.  A sleek, contemporary aesthetic is reinforced by a high level of glazing, anodised aluminium external fins and a striking gold and grey colour palette.  .....

...... The Library splits 17,000 sq.m of floor space over six levels. A series of lightwells run throughout, utilising optimum daylight, whilst automatic blinds respond accordingly to provide solar shading. Half of the ground floor atrium is dedicated to open access facilities, with the remainder populated by I.T facilities."

The University adds that the building heralds, "... a new generation of libraries in UK higher education,  .... The milestone building will give users a ‘transformational experience’, providing state-of-the-art facilities for students, staff and researchers, as well as a cultural hub for the University and the city, and with some facilities being open to the public.  With some 62 kilometres of shelving, including 12km of open access bookshelves, the library will provide a new home for the thousands of books and publications owned by the University while also delivering what the University’s Director of Library Services Diane Job has described as ‘inspirational learning spaces embracing new and emerging technologies’. "