British Library Building London, Architecture, Image, Design, Project, Date, Picture
British Library Building
Euston Road Architecture, London, England, UK – design by Colin St John Wilson, architect
20 Apr 2016 – new photos loaded ; updated 19 Sep 2015 ; 3 Aug 2015
British Library Listing
British Library Listed at Grade I
1 August 2015 – The British Library has been listed at Grade I by the Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch, on the advice of Historic England. Additionally, seven later 20th century libraries have been listed at Grade II.
The British Library Listing
The British Library is arguably the most significant new public building of the later 20th century in England. Its architecture is both immense and extraordinary and its warmth and quality of spaces, finishes and sculpture have made it a much-admired building. It is set back in a stately fashion behind the distinctive brick piazza and portico and holds its own amongst a parade of Grade I buildings: St Pancras Hotel and Station and King’s Cross Station.
Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The British Library divided opinion from the moment its design was revealed, but I am glad that expert advice now allows me to list it, ensuring that its iconic design is protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England, said: “The British Library is one of England’s finest modern public buildings. Listing it at Grade I acknowledges its outstanding architectural and historic interest. Colin St John Wilson’s stately yet accessible design incorporates fine materials and a generous display of public art. The Library’s dramatic and carefully considered interiors achieve its ultimate goal: of creating a space to inspire thought and learning.
“Historic England has had a really constructive consultation with the British Library throughout. The way it has been listed celebrates its qualities, and points out just what does make it special. This will enable it to go on flourishing as a dynamic public building, in which appropriate change is welcomed.
“It joins a select group of other listed post-war public libraries on the National Heritage List for England. Even in today’s digital age, there is a clear future for these buildings. They illustrate a wide range of architectural styles, and together represent the very best in public architecture.”
7 Nov 2012
Location: Euston Road, north of the city centre
Architect: Colin St John Wilson
Address: 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB
Phone: 0843 208 1144
British Library – Architecture
The cost of the BL building: £142m
– Scandinavian Modernism style, internal brick eg like Aalto
– very spacious atrium
– largest public building constructed in the United Kingdom in the 20th century
– no other architecture project, since the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral, over 400 years ago, took so long to construct or was surrounded by so much controversy.
– 37 years from the award of the brief to the opening of the last Reading Room, Sir Colin faced changes to the location, size, proportions, and funding for the building.
– architect taught architecture in Cambridge, England
– very controversial, dragged on for years and over budget
– in the middle of the building is a six-storey glass tower containing the King’s Library, with 65,000 printed volumes collected by King George III and given to the nation
– looks like a ship sailing into London
British Library – Architect
Other buildings by the architect, Colin St John Wilson, include:
Cambridge University Department of Architecture Extension
Pallant Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex
Queen Mary College Library, Mile End Rd, east London
British Library – Functioning
– national library of the United Kingdom
– world’s largest library in terms of total number of items
– over 150 million items
– 14 million books – second only to the United States’ Library of Congress
– legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland
– 4 levels of basement, 300km of shelves
– large sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi (a bronze statue based on William Blake’s study of Isaac Newton) and Antony Gormley
Location: north central London
British Library architect : Colin St John Wilson
British Library Extension – Centre for Conservation, north London
Design: Long & Kentish with Colin St John Wilson
Location:British Library, London, UK