Library of Birmingham – Planning Application Submitted

By on 19/08/2009 in News

A detailed planning application for the new £193M Library of Birmingham has today been submitted to the local planning authority, with a statutory public consultation period on the plans to begin later this week.

During the consultation period, which will run for at least 28 days, members of the public will get the opportunity to view the plans and submit any comments they wish members of the planning committee to consider in ruling on the application.

The planning application shows that the design has evolved in response to public consultation, but not significantly changed since the concept design released by Dutch architects Mecanoo in April 2009.

The height has been reduced by one level and other elements of the design have been refined, such as the amphitheatre and its relationship between the library and Centenary Square.

The detailed design also confirms that the historic Shakespeare Memorial Room will be located in the roof level rotunda. Further detailed design work is still continuing, with the completion of Stage D design scheduled for September.

Copies of the planning submission can be viewed online at or by visiting the Council's planning department in the city centre at 9th floor, Alpha Tower, Suffolk Street.

The planning committee is expected to meet to decide upon the planning application in before the end of the year.

Summary of Design

The new library will be spread over ten storeys with a lower ground level opening out onto an amphitheatre set into Centenary Square.

The outside of the building will feature an intricately patterned steel façade positioned in front of high performance glazed panels.

Publicly accessible terraces at the third and seventh floors will provide outdoor green spaces for a range of activities, including quiet areas to read and relax with views over the city – while a 'brown roof' will provide a natural habitat for wildlife.

At the top of the building, the aluminium-clad rotunda will have a glass facade offering views south across Centenary Square and the city beyond. It will also house 'The Shakespeare Memorial Room', providing a unique venue for small events and receptions featuring original 19th Century fixtures, fittings and materials.

Featuring greywater harvesting, sophisticated energy and lighting management systems and connected to the Broad Street Combined Heat and Power Network the building has been designed to achieve an 'excellent' BREEAM Rating for sustainability

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