YOUR CHOICE….BIG, JAMMY CREAM CAKE OR TINY CRUMB?..BOTTLE OF WINE OR SIP OF BRACKISH WATER? HUGE, CRISP, HIGH RES PHOTO OR CRAPPY, POSTAGE STAMP SIZED EXCUSE FOR ONE? GIVE THE INDIVIDUAL SHOTS A CLICK! YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE.
Birmingham has a new library.
The outside, with its chain mail circles, divides opinion..But what new building ever didn’t? I haven’t really made up my mind..Some aspects I like, some I don’t, but I do hope its going to last a bit longer than the last one. It managed a total life span of only 39 years..1974 to 2013…I’ve seen caravans in use for longer than that!
The new library is certainly a different kettle of fish to the upside down, brutalist wedding cake of the last one where visitors had no choice other than to read between the lines..Grey concrete lines..
Here you’ve got colour and curves..Hundreds of them.
Inside is a little more somber…Well it’s a library, it should be…Currently the stacks are anything but full, in fact one thing there seemed to be a bit of a lack of was books, but hopefully that will be addressed..You’d hope so, wouldn’t you?
The circular theme pops up everywhere.
And everywhere there really is a rather wonderful sense of subdued light…At least on a bright day there is..Maybe I need to go back when its pissing down!
Finally, there’s the Shakespeare Memorial Room.
Originally built in 1882 by John Henry Chamberlain as part of the Victorian library that was demolished in 1974, this has been rebuilt and given pride of place in a rotunda at the top of the new building.
How bonkers is that?
All Images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde