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Blue Phoenix invites readers to sign a petition asking Birmingham City Council to find alternative uses for Birmingham Central Library to preserve our history and one of the greatest remaining examples of brutalist architecture. You can read the full petition at

Birmingham Central Library was the main public library in Birmingham from its construction in 1974. For a time the largest non-national library in Europe, it closed on 29 June 2013 and was replaced with the New Library of Birmingham.

This building is due to be demolished in 2014 as part of a regeneration project.

blue phoenix library view

Designed by architect John Madin, the library formed part of an ambitious development project by Birmingham City Council to create a civic centre around its new Inner Ring Road system. However significant parts of the masterplan including the exterior being plated with marble were not completed as quality was reduced on materials as an economic measure.

Despite the original vision not being fully implemented the library has gained architectural praise as an icon of British Brutalism with its stark use of concrete, bold geometry, inverted ziggurat sculptural form and monumental scale. Its style was seen at the time as a symbol of social progressivism.

Based on this, English Heritage applied twice for the building to gain listed status and due to strong opposition from Birmingham City Council the building has gained immunity from listing until 2016, when we will have already lost this, one of the finest remaining examples of brutalist architecture.

This Central Library petition now has 760 signatures. The initiators set a target of 2,000 so keep spreading the word. Sign here: