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Library of Birmingham, Roof Terraces

The Library has two outdoor terraces, both accessible by the public with contrasting atmospheres and qualities.  The Level 3 terrace is the more active of the two terraces; in the ‘heart of the library’, it is a space to sit and read a book with views over Centenary Square. In contrast to the terrace on level 7, this is a space for events, play, performances and exhibitions. The Level 7 terrace has a quieter more intimate atmosphere, reflecting its position higher up the building overlooking the wider city.  Winding paths guide you through the garden, where circular shaped seating areas are surrounded by natural planting to create enclosed, intimate places. 


Applied Landscape Design worked in support of Frosts Landscapes to Value Engineer this scheme to achieve budgetary constraints yet still retain the ethos and style originally envisaged by the concept architect. An allotment style edible planting area was commissioned with the aim of produce being harvested and used within the library kitchens. This part of the scheme provides an educational facility where schools and local groups can gather to learn what can be grown successfully on a roof terrace. Each terrace features bird and insect boxes with the hope of attracting birds such as starlings, robins and blackbirds, assisting in biodiversity and aiding natural pollination of the plants.





ALD role:

Central Birmingham 

Birmingham City Council  

September 2013

Roof Terraces

Work Stages 2 through to 6:

Concept Design  - Completion

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