Concrete Dream

When the old library wasn’t the new one yet, hopes were high for this new public space. Birmingham City Library was going to be surrounded by trees, fountains and waterfalls. It would be a place where people could read, learn, relax, play and meet.

John Madin 1 John Madin 2

It was a dream. A good dream.

The concrete ziggurat became a never finished landmark – an architectural expression loved by some, hated by others.

I think the Birmingham Central Library is a great representation of a time when people had big aspirations. Unfortunately the dream lost its momentum and was realised in perhaps not its full potential. I do believe it is worth capturing some of the expressive and experimental nature of the project.

I particularly like the different textures used on the prefabricated concrete panels that form the outer shell of the building. I have taken photos and modeled two of the different textures (using clay molds and plaster). By placing these objects next to each other, I have tried to recreate and highlight the expression and detail of the concrete panels.

Collage Textures


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