28 September 2012

The British Library - Volume II

The British Library is a building that repays a number of visits. Its design is rooted in the principles of the English Free School, developed in the mid-nineteenth century and noted for asymmetry. Transferred across the Atlantic, the style was progressed by Frank Lloyd Wright and others, who resisted the brutalism of Le Corbusier's architecture without ever being anything other than modernist.

Colin St John Wilson's building is in that mould, an overall simplicity rounded out by gorgeous details - portholes that look out from galleries onto the concourse below, stair handrails and door handles in brass and bound leather, a mixture of clean lines and organic forms.

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