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Birmingham Central Library DP137657

Birmingham Central Library DP137657


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Additional Information

Filename: DP137657.jpg

Size: 4256 x 2832 (6.2MB)

Date: 3rd June 2011

Source: Historic England

Credit: Historic England Archive

Copyright Status: Copyrighted Work

Urgency (1-8) 5=normal: 5

Source: Historic England Archive

Job Title: Staff Photographer

© Historic England

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Birmingham Central Library DP137657

Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, West Midlands. General view of library (now demolished), from the north pediment of the Town Hall. Brutalist architecture designed by John Madin

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 11317680

© Historic England

Architecture City Concrete Modern Post War Urban


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Architecture > Modern Architecture > Space, Hope and Brutalism

> Architecture > Modern Architecture

> Towns and Cities > Birmingham

> The way we were > Leisure > Libraries


EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the iconic Birmingham Central Library, as it once stood proudly in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, West Midlands. Designed by renowned British architect John Madin and completed in 1974, this Brutalist masterpiece was a defining symbol of post-war urban architecture in the city. The image, taken from the north pediment of the Town Hall, showcases the library's raw, concrete exterior, which was both admired and controversial in equal measure. The building's bold, geometric forms and unapologetic use of concrete epitomized the Brutalist ethos, reflecting the industrial heritage of the region while pushing the boundaries of contemporary design. The library's demolition in 2016 sparked heated debates among architects, preservationists, and the local community. While some celebrated the opportunity to make way for a new, more accessible library, others lamented the loss of an important piece of post-war architectural history. This photograph serves as a poignant reminder of the library's unique presence and the ongoing conversation surrounding the value and significance of Brutalist architecture in our cities. As we gaze upon this image, we are transported back to a time when concrete and steel reigned supreme in urban planning, and when the bold, uncompromising vision of architects like John Madin shaped the landscape of our towns and cities. The Birmingham Central Library may no longer stand, but its legacy lives on in the pages of history and in the hearts of those who cherished its audacious design.

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