Birmingham Central Library


This unique building has gone, I’ve been drawing Birmingham Central Library as my personal way to remember this concrete landmark. Before the demolition began, in January 2015 I made a series of sketches on my iPhone and, since then, I’ve been working up these sketches. This is my progress…

 

2nd January 2017

Drawing of the facade of Birmingham Central Library and entrance to Paradise Forum, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

Drawing of the facade of Birmingham Central Library and entrance to Paradise Forum, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

 

14th December 2016

Birmingham Central Library, Birmingham, England, 2nd January 2015 (drawing 424)

Birmingham Central Library and Great Charles Street Queensway tunnel, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

 

5th June 2016

Birmingham Central Library, Birmingham, England, 2nd January 2016 (Drawing 412)

Atrium / Paradise Forum, Birmingham Central Library, Birmingham, England, 2nd January 2016 (Drawing 413). © Wilson Yau

See a video of this being draw.

 

10th January 2016

Birmingham Central Library, Birmingham, England, 2nd January 2015

Birmingham Central Library and Paradise Place, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

 

29th December 2015

Demolition of Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlian Square, Birmingham, England, December 2015 (Drawing 587)

Demolition of Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlain Square, 29th December 2015. © Wilson Yau

See a video of this being draw.

 

18th August 2015

 James Watt statue and Birmingham Central Library building, Birmingham, West Midland, England, 2nd January 2015 (Drawing 418)

James Watt statue and Birmingham Central Library, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

18th February 2015

View of Birmingham Central Library from Congreve Passage, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

View of Birmingham Central Library from Congreve Passage, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

8th February 2015

View of Birmingham Central Library from Chamberlain Square, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

View of Birmingham Central Library from Chamberlain Square, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

9th January 2015

Drawing of interior, Birmingham Central Library, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

Drawing of the ceiling, atrium, Birmingham Central Library, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

5th January 2015

Drawing of Birmingham Central Library, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

Drawing of the facade, Birmingham Central Library, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

 

My original onsite sketches

These were made onsite during a very cold day. These sketches were worked up later to produce more detailed drawings of the library.

Quick sketches of the Birmingham Central Library building and Paradise Forum, 2nd January 2014. © Wilson Yau

Quick sketches of the Birmingham Central Library building and Paradise Forum, 2nd January 2015. © Wilson Yau

 

Medium: Digital drawing using the iPhone 6 and iPad Air
Apps used: Adobe Ideas and Procreate

We should have saved the library

Birmingham Central Library should have been saved, its unique form and special qualities made it Birmingham’s biggest sculpture. Despite the efforts of the 20th Century Society and Friends of Birmingham Central Library, the valuable land has been assigned for new uses and those with the power to protect it have repeatedly deemed the building unworthy of preservation. I though believed it deserved a second chance. If only John Madin‘s building was in London, it might have been protected.

I’d like to thank the old building for all the good its done in supporting the education of several generations of Brummies. Whatever people have thought of its aesthetic qualities and that of Brutalist architecture in general, the Library did its job very well in that building.

Brimingham Central Library, December 2015

Birmingham Central Library building under demolition, 27th December 2015. Photograph by Wilson Yau.