Europe’s biggest library opens in Birmingham, UK

Dutch architecture and design studio Mecanoo has completed what is purported to be Europe’s largest public library. Located in Centenary Square, in Birmingham (UK), the building is covered in a distinctive façade of interlocking metal rings that, in its invocation of filigree patterns, pays homage to the 200-year tradition of craftsmanship pursued by the gold and silver smiths of the city’s Jewellery Quarter.

With a reported price tag of 186 million euros, the library occupies 29,000 square meters across 11 floors and is made up of stacked rectangular volumes. Designed to accommodate 10,000 visitors per day, the building comprises reading rooms, archives, research spaces, an amphitheatre and rooftop gardens.