Mecanoo and the Library of Birmingham have won yet another award, the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design. This prestigious award is particularly significant as it is not just about the building design but recognizes the inclusive nature of the building and its services and its importance as a visitor experience. The Selwyn Goldsmith Award, named after architect and founding figure of universal design, recognizes and rewards buildings or spaces that have been designed to ensure they consider the needs of all users, are safe and convenient for everybody, including disabled people.
Member of the Judging Panel Iain McKinnon, Senior Manager, Accessibility and Inclusive Design at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said ‘By considering inclusion as an important part of the visitor experience as a whole and not just in the building fabric, the team have delivered a building that is as functional and welcoming for all visitors and staff as it is visually striking. It is the creation of a community facility that offers such an inclusive visitor experience that led [the Library of Birmingham] to be a deserving winner of this year’s Selwyn Goldsmith Universal Design Award.’
Peter Haasbroek, Mecanoo’s Financial Director, accepted the award for the Library of Birmingham earlier this month at the Annual Civic Trust Awards Ceremony in London. From 238 applications, 91 national and international projects were rewarded with a Civic Trust Award or Commendation. The Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design was one of 8 Special Awards that were presented to projects that have demonstrated outstanding credentials in specific areas. Peter and his colleague James Taylor-Foster came to the Library of Birmingham to present the award plaque to David Potts and Dawn Beaumont, and it will be proudly displayed in the Library.