Many have expressed dislike of the exterior design, most politely described in the Architects Journal as a ’contentious façade’ but the writer conceded that the (floodlit?) sketch presented would have a certain appeal – for the very young at least.

THE VISION

central library sketch

On passing the actual construction for the first time however, the writer – already downcast by a journey past the desolate Meteor site in Moseley and the derelict site opposite the hideous new Edgbaston cricket ground development – was shocked to see the actual Mecanoo building.

THE REALITY

central library cropped

“It’s so UGLY”, she said on meeting a friend – who looked surprised. Could the friend actually like it, she wondered, and was soon answered:

“But it’s been ugly for months!”

She walked past and was confronted by the majestic ziggurat designed by Madin, which rose triumphant despite years of legalised commercial encroachment.

central madin library

By restoring and reusing this celebrated building the city council could atone for misjudgment and neglect.

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