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A very big read: Europe's largest public library set to open in Birmingham
Library of Birmingham is due to officially open on September 3 after taking more than three years to build Construction work started on the building in January 2010 and it has cost a total of 189million It has been designed by architect Francine Houben; the exterior's interlacing rings reflect city's canals and tunnels
By James Rush PUBLISHED: 00:37 GMT, 29 August 2013 | UPDATED: 00:58 GMT, 29 August 2013

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It has taken more than three years and cost 189million to build, but Europe's biggest library is due to open in a matter of days in Birmingham. The new Library of Birmingham, which was designed to replace the Birmingham Central Library, will officially open on September 3. It was designed by architect Francine Houben who has described the building as a 'people's palace'. Construction on the building started in January 2010 and was completed in April this year.

Impressive: The new Library of Birmingham, which has taken more than three years to build and cost 198m, is set to open on September 3

Inside: Along with the lending library, the building's ten floors will house the city's internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books

Imminent opening: The new library has been designed to replace Birmingham Central Library and is due to open in a matter of days

Futuristic: The library was designed by architect Francine Houben who has described the building as a 'people's palace'

The library's futuristic exterior of interlacing rings aims to reflect the city's canals and tunnels. Along with the lending library, the building's ten floors will house the city's internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. New facilities, meanwhile, such as a state-of-the-art gallery will allow the public to access the collections for the first time. The library will also feature a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and a recording studio.

Intricate: The library's futuristic exterior of interlacing rings aims to reflect the city's canals and tunnels

Collections: The city's internationally-important archives and collections will be housed in a climatically controlled 'golden box' of secure archive storages

Design: The library has been designed by architect Francine Houben who described the building as a 'people's palace'

Extensive: The library will also feature a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and a recording studio

Green: The library will also feature an outdoor roof terrace garden

Amazing views: The observation area at the top of the new Library of Birmingham, at Centenary Square

In April, JRR Tolkein's The Hobbit became the first book to be placed on the shelves of the library to mark its handover from construction partner Carillion to Birmingham City Council. In the months leading up to the event, staff at Birmingham's Central Library had been working to prepare the citys millions of books, music, archive and heritage resources, photographic images and rare books for the move. The citys internationally-important archives and collections will be housed in a climatically controlled 'golden box' of secure archive storages.

Stylish: New facilities such as a state-of-the-art gallery will allow the public to access some of the internationally-important collections for the first time

Contrast: The architecture of the new Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square contrasts with the classical design of neighbouring Baskeville House (left)

Comfortable: More than three million visitors are expected at the library each year, along with millions more online

Interior: The library features an array of interesting design features, both inside and out

Books: In April, JRR Tolkein's The Hobbit became the first book to be placed on the shelves of the library to mark its handover from construction partner Carillion to Birmingham City Council

These include one of the worlds largest Shakespeare collections, the Parker Collection of Childrens Books and Games, the Early and Fine Printing Collection, the Boulton & Watt archive and the Photography Collection - one of only nine national collections and the only to be housed within a public

library. The library will also be home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive. More than three million visitors are expected at the library each year, along with millions more online.

Comprehensive: The library will also be home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive

Interlacing: Among the important collections are the world's largest Shakespeare collections, the Parker Collection of Children's Books and Games and the Early and Fine Printing

Collection

Facilities: A view of the outdoor amphitheatre of the new Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square

Collaboration: The library will work alongside the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, along with other partners, to provide services

Important: Other important collections kept at the library will include the Boulton & Watt archive and the Photography Collection

Move: Staff at Birmingham's Central Library worked for months to prepare the city's millions of books, music, archive and heritage resources, photographic images and rare books for the move

Exclusive viewing: Some residents have already had the opportunity to view the library before its official opening

New and old: A small section of the library's vast collection is illuminated by the futuristic lighting

Relaxation: A visitor relaxes on the grounds of the new Library of Birmingham, which is due to open next week

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Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated View all Why does nobody ever remember Birmingham? - maxisussex , brighton, United Kingdom, 29/8/2013 03:14 Click to rate Report abuse Share this comment The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Rating (0)

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