Royal Mail Celebrates Birmingham’s First Class Architecture

architectureThe Library of Birmingham has been included in a new set of first class stamps issued by Royal Mail. The set celebrates 10 iconic buildings built in the last 20 years which represent the ‘renaissance of contemporary architecture’ in the UK.

Designed by Francine Houben of Dutch architectural practice Mecanoo, the Library of Birmingham was been designed to be a ‘people’s palace’.

Construction started on the library in Centenary Square in 2009, with building works led by Carillion. Freyssinet acted as post-tensioning contractor on the project, installing a bonded 4/5B13 post-tensioned flat concrete slabs system and a 19C15 system to the 10-storey building.

The striking exterior of the library is wrapped in broad bands of gold and silver cladding, overlaid with a pattern of interlocking circles made from thin sections of aluminium. Inside, a large cylindrical void rises through the centre of the building, criss-crossed by blue-lit escalators. The library was opened to the public in September 2013 and is the largest regional library in Europe.

Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council said, “The Library of Birmingham has become an iconic part of the city’s skyline and it attracts visitors from around the city, the UK and the world who come to see our Shakespeare collection, beautiful terraces and admire its architecture. I’m thrilled Royal Mail recognise it as a landmark building.”

Philip Parker, Stamp Strategy Manager at Royal Mail added “These new stamps celebrate visionary buildings which combine stunning architecture with great engineering.”

Other UK landmarks recognised by Royal Mail on the stamps include the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, The Scottish Parliament, Imperial War Museum North, London Aquatics Centre and the Eden Project, St Austell.

Read the case study of Freyssinet post-tensioning works on the Library of Birmingham here.