Creative Arts Book of the Week 07/05/14

I couldn’t really ignore this beautifully illustrated book on libraries.  The Library: A World History charts the development of library buildings from ancient civilisations to the present day.  James Campbell, architectural historian, and Will Pryce, one of the leading photographers of interior design and architecture, have travelled the world to experience the buildings at first hand. 

Libraries are not merely repositories of books, they embody the learning, creativity and achievements of humankind, so they do have a firm place in our future.  The new Library of Birmingham, designed by Mecanoo, isn’t included in the book, but is definitely one of the UK’s most recent prestigious library buildings.  The Library of Birmingham website says, “They have designed a building to capture the imagination and provide an exciting showcase for the library’s impressive collections and rich cultural programmes brought alive with the help of new digital technologies.”  If you are interested in finding out more about the architecture of the library, visit the AJ website.  Some people will be sorry to see the old Birmingham Central Library demolished.  Just like Portsmouth’s Tricorn Centre it is an example of Brutalist architecture.  More on that next week…

Our own University Library is changing too.  The ground floor is being remodelled over the summer to create a new space based on feedback from the NSS and other surveys.  You can see further information and architect’s sketches on the Library Refurbishment webpage.

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