Mecanoo working with The Library of Birmingham
Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, has named Mecanoo as the architect chosen to design Birmingham new library, integrated with Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP), in Centenary Square.
The Netherlands-based architect was one of seven international firms shortlisted to work on the £193 million project, which will combine the new library and The REP to create a unique centre for knowledge, learning and culture. Francine Houben, Founding Partner and Creative Director of the Dutch firm, joined Councillor Whitby in Birmingham for the announcement.
Cllr Mike Whitby said: "With their creativity, vision, experience and international pedigree I believe Mecanoo are the perfect choice to help us deliver an innovative world-class building, which the people of Birmingham can be truly proud of.
Their enthusiasm and understanding for the project, coupled with a track record for delivering visually stunning yet user-friendly buildings, really made them stand out among those shortlisted.
Getting the design of this building right is of the utmost importance as not only will the new development be unique within this country but, as a combined cultural centre, it will be of international relevance.And we see it as integral to the Big City Plan - our twenty year vision for Birmingham future.
Mecanoo has designed many highly original library, learning and arts centre buildings including National Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center, in Taiwan, and the Library for the Technical University, in Delft. One design, the Learning Center for the ole Polytechnique, in Lausanne, revolves at 15 degrees per hour the same speed as the Earth.
Houben renowned firm has won no less than fourteen major architectural awards since it began in the early 1980s. These include two coveted Dedalo Minosse International prizes, most recently for their work on business innovation centre FiftyTwoDegrees in Nijmegen, Netherlands, earlier this year, so named because of its location at 52 degrees latitude (pictured above).
The other was for the Montevideo skyscraper, in Rotterdam, which also scooped an International Highrise award, a National Steel Construction prize and a City of Rotterdam Building Quality prize in 2006.