BirminghamCentralLibrary4

News on the grapevine is that an authority on celebrated concrete buildings is working out how to project images of the Madin library on to one of the fly towers of the National Theatre (below).

national theatre illuminated flytower

Public regret about the proposed wasteful and polluting demolition of the Madin Library will be re-energised as concern mounts about road closures and the subsequent disruption to motorists and bus users in Paradise Circus early in the New Year.

Alan Clawley (Friends of the Central Library) asks why the Paradise developers are in such a hurry to demolish the Central Library. He points out:

  • plans for the first two office blocks have not yet been submitted,
  • no tenants are waiting to move in
  • and the developers are yet to comply with 55 conditions attached to their 2012 Outline Planning permission.

The only convincing explanation for this unseemly haste that occurs to him is that the Certificate of Immunity from Listing expires in January 2016 and there is every chance that supporters of the Library will succeed in getting it listed.

Rob Groves, Senior Project Director with the Argent Group which will develop 17 acres of Paradise – aka office, retail and hotel space – is well aware that English Heritage, the Twentieth Century Society, the World Monuments Fund and at least half the population want to see the Madin building retained and reused.

Clawley ends: “In the 12 years since I wrote my first letter to the Post about the Library public opinion has moved on. The Brutalist concrete Preston Bus Station that once faced demolition has been listed after a long campaign. Sadly for Birmingham’s architectural heritage, the developers of ‘Paradise’ still seem to live in a bygone era”.

Your vision of Paradise: office, retail and hotel space . . . ?

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