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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Death of a Building Part 4

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas AUGUST. 09, 2020

This set documents the actual soft demolition of Birmingham Library. Please see parts one and two for some background and photos of the building exterior and interior before demolition began.

Demolition started at the end of 2015, I started my project in January 2016 after the first chunk had been removed from the main structure.

I had three main vantage points early in the process. From the portico of the Art Gallery next door. This area was raised up so gave a view over the site above the screens around the site. From a terrace next to the Town Hall, and from the balcony of the Conservatoire, which was also later demolished, but in the early stages continued to be accessible.

As demolition moved to the Conservatoire later, a fourth main vantage point opened up on a walkway to the rear of the library leading to the Copthorne Hotel, which remained open throughout.

These photos were taken in February and a large part of the heart of the main building has now gone. A large section has also been removed from the main entrance lobby, leaving an island of concrete between the work site and the Art Gallery next door. The central atrium is now exposed to view.

Island of concrete.

Where the library complex connected to the Edwardian Art Gallery.

A remaining section of the Conservatoire, still intact.

Some interesting geometry got exposed as sections were removed.

Three sides of the central atrium remain.

The work site is spreading as more of the building is removed. Piles of rubble and piles of steel bar now accumulating at the work site. The aerial walkway above, still intact.

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