A recent addition to the city architecture, Library Walk was redeveloped with a new glass coverage linking the Town Hall Extension and the Library in 2015, with bees featuring both inside and out.
Approaching from the Albert Square side, you’ll pass between 4 large gate posts which close access to the entranceway at night-time. Each are adorned with 4 small bees placed along their length , similar to those that appear on the city’s bollards.
Once inside the structure, you’ll notice a ribbon of bees runs around the middle of the clear windowed walls. These are clearly modelled on the Town Hall mosaic design, linking the two buildings together. Also duplicated is the mosaic floor design featuring cotton flowers, 18 of which have red lights at their centre engraved with the name of a victim of the Peterloo Massacre.
Other elements of interest include the polished stainless steel roof, named “The Cloud”. Weighing 30 tonnes, it’s design was created through mathematical algorithms to create a smooth, organic form, with its shape replicated in the design of the gated entranceway.
As lovely as it looks (which you would expect with a price tag of £3.5 million), it’s a shame the original Library Walk design has been lost. It was a beautiful unbroken curve between the two buildings, unlike any other walkway in the city.
Just outside the entranceway is an even more recent addition to the city, inlaid into the pavement of St Peter’s Square.
Featuring a compass, tram, the date of burial and a bee, the specially engraved paving slab marks the location of a time capsule. It was buried here to commemorate the completion of the Metrolink Second City Crossing, containing local newspapers, theatre programmes, photographs and local sporting memorabilia. Two unique items inside the capsule are specially composed pieces of music and a 3D printed sculpture. The sculpture, named Timeform Intersection, was created by Professor Keith Brown and is inspired by the winding and criss-crossing tracks of Metrolink.