Between 2011 and 2013 the three famous trio on Broad Street, Boulton, Watt & Murdoch observed as the Library of Birmingham was built. They saw it from their then position outside of the House of Sport (the ex Register Office). Using James Watt's secret steam powered time machine they kept popping back until the Library was complete.

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Boulton, Watt & Murdoch and the construction of the Library of Birmingham





Between 2011 and 2013 the three famous trio on Broad Street, Boulton, Watt & Murdoch observed as the Library of Birmingham was built. They saw it from their then position outside of the House of Sport (the ex Register Office). Using James Watt's secret steam powered time machine they kept popping back until the Library was complete.


The Library of Birmingham was built in Centenary Square between January 2010 and September 2013. The architect was Francine Houben of Mecanoo architecten. The main contractors was Carillion and Capita Symonds (Project Managers). It opened to the public on the 3rd September 2013.

Going back in time, we will see the Library of Birmingham as it was being built and as it was being observed by Boulton Watt and Murdoch.

 

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch's view on the 19th March 2011. The pair of cores as the library started to go up.

By the 2nd August 2011, Boulton, Watt & Murdoch could see that the library was almost at full height, but missing the floor that would hold the Shakespeare Memorial Room.

On the 15th October 2011 the cladding started to go up as observed by the golden trio. The circular shapes at this point reached up to just below what would become the Discovery Terrace. The future home of the Shakespeare Memorial Room was beginning to form.

By the 18th February 2012 the golden cladding covered all of the library (apart from the top floor). And the circular shapes based on the trades in the Jewellery Quarter were continuing to go up. Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were fascinated by this.

On the 22nd May 2012, the Library of Birmingham looked almost finished. Was some golden panels missing from the Level 9 cylinder (now home of the Shakespeare Memorial Room and the Skyline Viewpoint). Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were gold and shiny that day.

On the 31st August 2013 and the Library was complete. 3 days open it would open to the public. Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were impressed by what they saw, if a bit too futuristic by their standards. The golden trio would remain in this spot until they were removed to storage 4 years later on the 23rd August 2017.

While the new Centenary Square was developed from 2017 to 2019, Boulton, Watt & Murdoch have not yet returned. There is a spot saved outside of the Symphony Hall foyer refurbishment. They could return later in 2020 (but this could be delayed by the current lockdown / pandemic we find ourselves in). I'm not sure if they will be facing the Library or facing the tram line. Either way, they will have lost the view they had until 2017.

 

On the 12th January 2020 a view of the Library of Birmingham from approximately where the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue used to be. Library Tram Stop had opened in mid December 2019. This was the last day of Ice Skate Birmingham, so before the Star Flyer and Birmingham Big Wheel were dismantled. West Midlands Metro tram 34 with the temporary Christmas reindeer name of Blitzen was waiting at the tram stop.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020