MISSING EDITIONS: Birmingham Central Library

MISSING EDITIONS: Birmingham Central Library


Our missing editions commemorate the lost buildings that we loved. Made all in black these 3D images appear and disappear with differing views and lighting.

A layered 3D elevation artwork portraying Birmingham’s Central Library designed by John Madin, 1974. Black card layered to represent the building form in elevation, showing the Southern elevation of the reference building..

Comes mounted and framed in a black box frame

Material: Black card

Size: 39cm high x 31cm wide.

Edition size: 50

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Birmingham Central Library was opened in 1974 as part of a new civic centre scheme located in the west of Birmingham’s city centre. The building was designed by Birmingham architect John Madin as part of a vision to modernise the city. It was the first of a new kind of library which acted as a multi-functional complex including a theatre, lecture rooms and adaptable spaces to allow for the predicted changes in how public libraries would work in the future. When opened it was the largest non-national library in Europe and its inverted ziggurat form made it one of Birmingham’s most prominent modernist buildings.

At the time of construction Central Library’s style was seen as one that championed social progress. A holistic approach to design which utilised classical proportioning for the monumental massing, along with clean and well sequenced spaces and early environmental considerations produced a seminal public scheme for a modern city. Unfortunately the overall vision was never realised and due to economic difficulties the building’s materials were reduced in quality and surrounding plots were sold off for separate developments.