These are the first images of the new £37 million library planned for the University of Birmingham.
The designs for the project have been created by Mailbox-based Associated Architects which was given outline consent by planners in August as part of the university’s application’ for 21 small and large projects at the its Edgbaston campus.
The new 13,000 sq m library will be over six storeys with a new cafe and exhibition and events space to showcase research carried out at the university.
The new building will replace the former 1950s library that is set to be demolished and the architects – who are also working on the conversion of the grade-II listed Aston Webb building and the construction of a new multi-storey car park as part of the campus masterplan – have said that the new building will be sympathetic to the nearby listed buildings.
They also say it will be highly efficient, reducing energy use by 50 per cent and helping the university reach its target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.
Associated Architects’ director Warren Jukes said: “Whilst the site posed significant challenges, there was also an opportunity to make an important contribution to the historic campus and to create spaces that are bright and fun to work in.
“We are excited to be designing this flagship building for the University of Birmingham and to be involved in such an ambitious masterplan, which is set to make the University of Birmingham a globally leading university.”
Diane Job, director of library services at the university, added: “The combined investment in the new university library and the city’s Library of Birmingham, will together serve the businesses and people of this region, their interests and their passions, in a way unrivalled in the UK.
“They will provide a competitive edge for the University and the region. Whether you are studying for a degree, helping your children with a school project, or have a passion for a particular subject, rich resources lie at your fingertips.”
Advocates already include writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, Princeton University professor and historian Sir David Cannadine, the CBI’s Mark Billingham, and noveliest and music teacher Clare Morrall.
The university has committed £50 million towards the combined investment and are seeking to raise a further £5 million from former students, charitable trusts, friends, companies, and the people of Birmingham.
A reserved matters application is expected to be submitted later this year and construction work is due to start early in 2014.