University of Birmingham Library

Stunning visual impact at the University of Birmingham library

Rainscreen cladding panels installed at the University of Birmingham Library Banner Large


Tim Cornbill


Birmingham, West Midlands




Architectural Facades


New build

The challenge

The construction of the external cladding was an important part of the library’s transformation. The building has a contemporary aesthetic, which houses innovative learning tools alongside traditional resources for studying in the 21st Century and beyond.

The solution and approach

Rainscreen Cladding was fitted to the front of the library and add vibrancy to the building, which sits at the heart of the University campus. Associated Architects chose Bailey to supply the metal cladding for the project due to its team’s expert technical knowledge and ability to respond creatively to a brief.

By using advanced manufacturing techniques, Bailey created 1000 aluminium rainscreen cladding panels covering 1500m sq, which were skillfully fitted by contractor, Inasus UK Ltd. Each panel was anodised to create a stunning multi-tonal finish, with the added benefit of providing solar shading. While weatherproofing and overall thermal performance is an important element of all Bailey Rainscreen Cladding Systems, the primary focus for many architects is often the visual impact they can bring to a building. 

Tim Cornbill, Project Architect for the new library said: “We approached Bailey as they could provide the high-quality finish we desired for the important components of the building. They could also match the performance specification and flexibility when it came to the panel sizes required to fit the design... The finished result is superb. The entrance canopy and the feature colonnade tie in seamlessly with the other anodised gold finishes throughout the project, providing the perfect impression for students entering the building”.

The result

The cladding creates a striking exterior for the library building, and despite the modern design, fits in well with the historic campus. The team at Associated Architects was extremely happy with how the rainscreen product complimented the library.

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