On 13 July Royal Mail released ten stamps celebrating excellence in contemporary architecture and engineering in the UK. This new issue reflects the renaissance in new British architecture, particularly in buildings for public use or open to visitors, that has occurred over the last 20 years.
AQUATICS CENTRE, QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK, LONDON (1st class)
The Aquatics Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the landmark buildings constructed for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the brief was to accommodate the swimming events at the Games, while also providing the optimum size and capacity for post-Olympic use. The design, inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion, uses an undulating wave-like roof 160m long and up to 80m wide to sweep up from the ground and enclose the pools of the centre.
LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM (1st class)
Located in the heart of the city, the new Library of Birmingham, which opened in 2013, was designed by the architects, Mecanoo Architecten, as a ‘People’s Palace’.Inspired by the tradition of metalwork in this former industrial city, the exterior of the ten-storey, cantilevered building is covered in bands of gold and silver cladding, overlaid with a delicate filigree pattern of interlocking circles in thin sections of aluminium. The circle motif is continued throughout the building and is intended to embody universality, infinity, unity and timelessness. A large cylindrical void allows daylight into the building and provides access to the different parts of the library, including the rooftop rotunda, which houses the Shakespeare Memorial Room, originally part of Birmingham’s first Central Library.
To find out more, see the latest GSM.