An apology is due to architect John Madin, who designed the city’s Central Library. Alan Clawley has established that the building – which the Council wants to demolish – is structurally sound, and says its faults have been exaggerated: The Stirrer [15.6.09]
An independent review by eminent structural engineers Scott Wilson in 2007 found no evidence in any of the City Council’s own survey reports that the Central Library was structurally unsound. The document was sent to Friends of the Central Library in response to a Freedom of Information request.
The Scott Wilson review concluded that there was nothing in the Council’s internal reports to justify their associating the problems of the cladding panels with the structure as a whole and that they had merely implied such a link.
The review also found no evidence to support the Council’s claim that the fixings of the cladding panels were severely corroded and would cause entire panels to fall off the building within five years unless drastic action were taken.
And, although mention was made in the Council’s Options Appraisal of “concrete cancer” affecting the building, Scott Wilson notes that no such condition was identified in the Council’s own Condition Survey.
The building’s architect [John Madin] and structural engineer as well as Friends of the Central Library have always maintained that the Central Library is structurally sound and this review fully justifies their confidence.
The Council may only have been careless in their use of language but they have allowed a false impression of the building’s condition to be perpetuated, thereby helping to justify their decision to demolish it.
The highly reputable professionals who designed the Central Library now deserve a public apology from the Council.