Delightful decor: Interior award for city’s local library

By on 21/02/2013 in Deputy Leader, News

Vivid, bright, bold colours and artistic statement pieces have landed Birmingham City Council and a local interior design company a prestigious award for The Shard, a council-run library located in the east of the city.

The library – based in Shard End received the Mixology North Award for best Interior Design.
The accolade was given in the Public Sector category for the building's powerful inspirational interior. The Shard also won an award for interior of the year.

The Shard is part of a larger build which incorporates a first floor neighbourhood office and community space in addition to the ground floor public library.

Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The function of a library is important but so is the way it looks and feels. The Shard has a bright, warm, welcoming feel which helps to draw people in.

“I'm sure the modern look of the library inside and out is a significant factor as to why people return to use the facility. This means thousands of people are using the library time and time again, and the local community aren't missing out on learning opportunities and the services The Shard offers.”

John Hunt Associates, an Edgbaston-based design team who created the library's interior, is headed-up by John Hunt and Pauline Owen. The local designers attended the award ceremony along with Bev Carrol, Service Integration Head for Hodge Hill, Karen James, Senior Project Officer and Liz Parkes, Community Librarian at Shard End Library.

John Hunt, of John Hunt Associates said: “This project was a pleasure to work on, it was fantastic to be able to design the interior of a library and make it special for the people it was created for.

“We listened to the local community and spent time in the area and with the people in order for us to get an understanding of what would work for them. With this project we were keen to inject some vibrancy into the design, and had some fun with bright pink lighting which we edge lit to evoke some joy and smiles from the customers. And by all accounts it's worked”

The interior design competition – run by the design journal Mix Magazine – covered winners for 2012 and took place in Manchester.

Shard End library was completed in April 2012 and has received unanimous praise for its innovative exciting interior and exterior design. The library was also a finalist in the FX International Design Awards last year. The local design team are also in the running for the International Library Award for the Shard end project. The award ceremony will take place in Chicago in July.


Notes to editor

  • John Hunt Associates have previously been awarded the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Public Library Award in the interior design category Best Public Library for their work on Handsworth Library.
  • John Hunt Associates have also worked on Ward End, Perry Common and South Yardley Libraries previously.

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