- Lucy Bravington
The 'new' Birmingham Library opened in 2013 with a price tag of £189 million so I thought it was about time I checked out the rooftop garden!
The distinctive Mecanoo facade of overlapping aluminium rings has caused some controversy but I thought it was really effective. I love using geometry in my designs so I found these interlocking circles quite inspiring.
Architect Francine Houben, Mecanoo's Founding Partner, describes her design for the Library of Birmingham as the 'People's Palace' and says her design was 'inspired by the energy of this great city.'
The library has 10 floors, 9 above ground and one lower ground floor.
The library itself feels huge; impressive escalators with fairy lights take you up the centre of the building. It's a fantastic facility with a great atmosphere. The curved bookcases and walkways were quite enticing but I was on a mission to find the garden.
The Secret Garden can be found on the 7th floor, with stunning views over the city.
The raised beds and timber bench seats mimic the interlocking circle design of the facade and create lots of private areas. The roof garden provides a serene relaxing space for people to contemplate, read or escape the busy streets of Birmingham for a moment.
The planting was still looking good, if a little past it's best. This summer has been so hot I think the flowers would usually last a little longer.
I highly recommend a visit to the library and the roof garden, it's free entry so even for the view alone it's fab'!