Posted by: bluesyemre | August 10, 2015

British Library awarded Grade I-listed building status


Structure once called ‘one of the ugliest buildings in the world’ in parliament and denounced by Prince Charles now ‘one of England’s finest modern buildings’. The British Library, once denounced by Prince Charles as a building suiting an academy for secret policemen, has been awarded the highest heritage honour, Grade I-listed building status. The institution, on Euston Road, London, now a victim of its own success with scholars and researchers complaining of students and tourists crowding the reading rooms and cafes, was opened by the Queen in June 1998 – more than 20 years after it was first approved and at £350m over the original budget, to a chorus of contempt.

Roly Keating, chief executive of the library, warmly welcomed the honour for the UK’s largest, most expensive, and arguably most controversial public building of the 20th century. “We are delighted that Colin St John Wilson’s courageous and visionary design for the British Library’s London building has been recognised by a listing at the highest level. Even in the relatively short period since its opening it has worked its way into the affections of millions of visitors and researchers, who have discovered its beautiful spaces, subtle use of natural light and exquisite detailing.”

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