The modern marvel that is Birmingham’s new library is days away from its grand opening – and today the Express & Star offers a glimpse inside the iconic £188million building.
Stacked high over Centenary Square, the library, which is the biggest of its kind in Europe, is already a landmark in the city centre.
Dominating the Birmingham skyline, the structure is covered in 5,357 interlocking steel circles and has been built as a replacement for the neighbouring Central Library.
And now the Express & Star can reveal the inside of the structure, which is home to almost one million books.
The Library of Birmingham also features multiple performance spaces, rooftop terraces, a large glass-topped central book rotunda and interactive touch-screen ‘smart tables’.
Open-plan floors are linked with weaving flights of escalators, and the library also features a subterranean level and a special viewing platform at its top that houses one of the library’s many secrets – a room that dates back to the city’s Victorian library.
During its opening week, the public will be able to take part in workshops with local artists and tours of the building.
The building has also been designed to break the traditional rules of a library by providing areas where people can socialise and relax. Visitors are not expected to be shushed, as per the traditional notion that libraries are quiet places.
Instead bosses want book and music lovers to use the site as a social space where they can meet up with friends and chatter. The library is officially opened to the public on Tuesday.
New chapter for library - Double-page special in today's Express & Star