Birmingham’s public buildings were once the laughing stock of the UK: an overly brutal collection of concrete that was more an urbanista’s utopia than a user friendly city. But not no more. Our civic architecture is now a source of serious and well-deserved Brummie pride. Let’s see how far we’ve come.
Always a looker, but showing its age after hitting 40. That all changed last year when the building (which won a RIBA prize in 1972) got a total makeover and linked up with the library to now offer three theatre spaces and beautifully light public areas to mingle in style.
What a corker! With an amphitheatre, kick-ass main entrance lobby and spiral staircase, a great café, films, talks, magnificent views and wonderful secret garden, Birmingham now has Europe’s largest public library, and possibly the most beautiful one to boot.
The Bull Ring
From eyesore to icon, and then some. Futuristic indoor and outdoor walkways and boulevards; iconic architecture; the beautifully reimagined St Martin’s Square and some of the UKs foremost retailers and restaurants, in a glittering display of all round fabulousness.