Located in Birmingham’s Centenary Square, at the heart of the city centre, the venue is set to transform its library services and become a major new cultural and events destination.
Designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo, the new site houses Birmingham’s world-class collections of archives, photography and rare books as well as one million printed volumes, the largest number held by any public library in the UK. It is expected to attract more than three million visitors a year and, at 31,000 square metres, it is now the largest public library in Europe.
The ten-level Library offers four flexible meeting rooms catering for up to 60 delegates and a fifth multi-purpose space for meetings and workshops. The venue is physically connected to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, sharing a spacious entrance, foyer and flexible studio theatre seating 292 people.
Brian Gambles, Director of the Library of Birmingham, said: “We were delighted to welcome over 10,000 people into the Library on its first day after the official opening by the inspirational Malala Yousafzai. Our visitors were overwhelmed by this spectacular building and it was wonderful to see the smiles on people’s faces as they explored it.
“We look forward to working with international, national and local event organisers in the years to come.”
Other feature spaces ideal for events include the historic Shakespeare Memorial Room, an original feature from the city’s Victorian library. The room, with a panoramic view of the south of the city, is available for small launch events or intimate dinners.
Event organisers can also benefit from The Book Rotunda for out-of-hours receptions for more than 100 guests and an outdoor Amphitheatre in Centenary Square, which provides a large open air performance space for 450 people. The Library also boasts two outdoor garden terraces and a panoramic viewing gallery at the summit, where visitors can enjoy stunning vistas from one of the highest points in the city.
The Library of Birmingham is a flagship project of Birmingham City Council’s 20-year Big City Plan, focusing on the regeneration of the city and the most far-reaching city centre development project ever undertaken in the UK.
Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, which operates the city’s official business tourism programme Meet Birmingham, said: “The new Library epitomises the vast changes being made to Birmingham’s landscape – providing organisers with a greater variety of unique event spaces in the city.
“Birmingham has long been established as a firm favourite with event planners, consistently named by The British Meetings and Events Industry Survey as the most popular destination outside London. This new development highlights both the city’s ambition and innovation to leading the way as a vibrant meeting point for its delegates.”