Birmingham’s library wins architecture award

The Library of Birmingham has topped the chart for the Riba Stirling Prize 2014!

Birmingham’s city folk were being urged to vote for the architectural beauty and the votes payed off with 30% of the votes going to the Library.

The Library of Birmingham
The Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham won the Riba Stirling prize on the 16th October 2014.

The Library was designed by Mecanoo architect, Patrick Arends, who won the emerging architect of the year.
It’s interlocking circle design, rooftop terraces and vast glass-topped central book rotunda are all what added to this gem’s win.

Shortlisted along with the Library was London Aquatics Centre, receiving 26% of the votes, London Bridge Tower/The Shard (20%), Everyman Theatre in Liverpool (10%), LSE Student Centre in London (8%), and Manchester School of Art (7%).

It was also named West Midland’s overall building of the year, at the regional final.

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Students designs cardboard panniers

Architecture students have designed a clever way to bring groceries back home – Packtasche (Pack Bag), foldable panniers you can pick up at the checkout.

Carrier bags hanging on for dear life off the handle bars of bicycles could well and truly become things of the past, if the solution to carrying groceries home, created by two architecture students in Vienna, gets a wide adoption.
The solution comes in the form a foldable, cardboard pannier, that can be filled with your grocery haul and then placed on your bike.

Packtasche cardboard pannier (picture source Packtasche)
Packtasche cardboard pannier (picture source Packtasche)

The product, Packtasche, was designed by budding architects, Philipp Moherndl and Matthias Lechner; ideally stores would offer it to customers a replacement of shopping bags and carrier bags.

A simple assemble, light in weight and wholly recyclable means that carrier bags could be disappearing, and it also means that shoppers don’t have to worry about whether what they’re purchasing will fit inside their backpack and the weight can be lifted off their shoulders, literally.

While many cyclists may be familiar with panniers and may already own one, not everyone fancies the idea of carrying them around all day when they’re not using their bicycles.

The designers told an architecture publishing company: “Due to the mass appeal of the bike, conventional cycling accessories do not fit the lifestyle of many urban cyclists. The limited transport capacity of usual bicycles makes shopping difficult and inflexible.

“People often do their shopping spontaneously, on their way home or whilst cycling in the city. therefore we wanted to come up with a more flexible solution: a multi-use bag for bicycles, which is low priced and environmentally-friendly.”

The final design incorporates a handle that makes it easy to carry when not travelling on the bike, and once on it, the panniers fit over a rear rack.

“Our main goal was to make cycling in the city even more practical and attractive than it already is. The Packtasche is our small contribution to make cycling more attractive to people and hence support sustainable urban mobility,” explained Lechner.

The pair are currently hoping to expand their market to Europe and are planing to launch a Kickstarter campaign for their product.

What do you think of the Packtasche?
Let us know in the comments!