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    Birmingham Central Library Vs. Library of Birmingham

     Posted in Regeneration & Thoughts on Things... at 16:03 on Sunday, June 30th, 2013 by Mr. Rant

    In a couple of months times the new Library of Birmingham will open and we (the people of Birmingham) will beckon in a new generation of absurdly designed supposedly fit for purpose crazy looking buildings, sounds familiar doesn’t it? The planners in Birmingham have a history of approving slightly bizarre looking things, to name but a few; The Selfridges end of the Bullring, The Rotunda, and lets not forget the original Central Library, a much oft blogged about thing here at The Rantastic.

    As we move into the new Library of Birmingham one would hope that maybe Birmingham Library services finally has a place to store it’s treasures for the future seeing at the Old Central Library did nothing to help their preservation and by several accounts have systematically shortened their life spans, but lets not think about that now, lets instead focus on moving forward into a new dimension of librarial goodness, but alas we cannot.

    For now there is a battle brewing, one that has been brewing for a while since the new library was announced, one that seems to heat up each time the dreaded demolition is spoken.  Yes, people want to keep the Central Library. I can understand their logic, I love architecture and I understand the attraction of a brutalist design, just have a look at Auchinleck House on Broad Street, Birmingham, that’s a classic 60’s design and to be honest it’s hideous but I like it, and I’d like to see it stay but times move on and buildings have their day and sometimes, when they’re not fit for the purpose for which they were built it’s time for them to go.  Hence, it’s time for the Central Library to bow it’s head to the executioners axe and have it’s remains laid to rest.

    So can we please, please, get on to enjoying our new Library and start to forget about the old one?


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    Update Status: Never Updated.

      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Birmingham Central Library (Upside down pyramid)

     Posted in The Arts & Thoughts on Things... at 5:09 on Saturday, June 21st, 2008 by Mr. Rant

    Owing to popular demand to which I don’t agree; it seems that the abomination known as The Birmingham Central Library is to be listed, or at least thats the plan of the Save Birmingham Library Group and indeed English heritage are looking into the issue.

    I must ask myself why.

    The building designed by John Mardin has always to me looked like an upside down pyramid and it’s true that it has never fit the purpose for which it was built; an expanding book collection and archive, so much so that now we have to have a now one specially built at enormous cost.

    An example of Brutalist Design.

    An example of Brutalist Design.

    “Brutalist modern building”

    As described by English Heritage of all people; this does however, describe it wonderfully. In my opinion you can find beauty in modern buildings and design but the Library really doesn’t fit the brief. Birmingham should have a Municipal Library which is easy to use, designed for purpose and there for the use of the people, at present I’m ashamed of it. I like nothing more that perusing a book or indeed looking for one, but at the pyramid of shame its hard to find what you want, and it’s ruining the extensive collection of which Birmingham should be proud.

    It’s time for Birmingham to decide what it wants to be.

    Stuck in the Seventies or move into the Twentieth Century?

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    Update Status: Modified at: 5:27, on October 2nd, 2008.

      Written By Mr. Rant.