The new Library of Birmingham replaced the Central Library and was opened in September 2013. Situated on the west side of the city centre at Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep and Baskerville House.

There was an international competition announced to design the New Library and early August 2008, Mecanoo, and multi-discipline engineers, Buro Happold, were announced as the winner of the design competition.

Whilst I lived some 12 miles away from the city centre, I visited the old library as part of my C & G courses in Flower Arranging and Floristry, and later in the Millinery course. It was an old building and quite difficult to find the reference books I needed. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to visit the new Building as we moved to Spain before it was built and the opportunity to visit it hasn’t arisen, but I am sure the reference books will be easier to find.

I love the design of the building and hope that my interpretation brings some pleasure to readers of this Blog.

The very abstract design lends itself to my blocks of fabric and I enjoyed hand quilting the ‘picture’ with the circular patterns found adorning the front of the building.

I decided to make the mini quilt into a framed picture rather than a wall hanging – purely for a change.






Please do leave a comment….. I would love to hear your opinion of the building and my interpretation.

Sue Burford


  1. Maggie Attfield

    What lovely quilting! It certainly complements your accurate design. Angles and curves all in one place. I really enjoyed reading this blog. It brought back many memories, as I used both the lovely old Reference Library ( when I was a student) and the Central Library. This was new then (when taking my Finals in 1974). I was rather shocked that it was being replaced after only 40 years and very amused to see that the upside-down ziggurat has been replaced by a another, right-side-up ziggurat!

  2. Ruth Garner

    The building is fascinating. We hated it when it appeared with its ‘old bicycle wheels’ struck on the outside but when it is lit up in the evenings it is stunning. The inside, and the roof terraces, are clean and inviting with lots of comfy seating places to read your books or just contemplate the world or view the exhibitions. Rumour had it that they had run out of money to stock new books so it isn’t rammed to the rooftops – but technology plays a part in that, this is a fab design and looks lovely in the picture frame Sue. The frame reinforces the clean lines seen on this modern building. Well done – it is a lovely representation! .