Three architects chosen to imagine how Birmingham's new library might look have come up with futuristic, traditional and iconic designs, according to City Council leader Mike Whitby.
Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) said he regarded plans by Adjaye Associates (above) as the most traditional option.
Glenn Howells Architects had devised a futuristic design (above), while Ken Shuttleworth's glass-covered structure (below) had the potential to become a truly iconic building.
Coun Whitby added: "Any one of these three quite different designs would deliver a first-class library in Centenary Square, at the heart of the civic centre of Birmingham.
"This is the perfect answer to those that claimed we would be unable to produce a library of any quality if we did not choose the Richard Rogers scheme at Eastside.
"These are designs of which the citizens of Birmingham can be proud and it is certain that the completed building will bring a new cultural ambience to Centenary Square."
The council leader said he was keen to gauge public opinion on the issue.
"I am very keen indeed to hear what the people of Birmingham, and in particular the readers of The Birmingham Post, think about the three designs. It will, after all, be their library and a world-class facility fit for the 21st century."
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The council cabinet will next week formally adopt the split-site library option - with the lending and reference library in Centenary Square and a separate Archive and Family History centre at Millennium Point.
The total cost of the two buildings has been estimated at #147.4 million - the Knowledge Centre at #105 million and the Archive and Family History Centre at #42 million.
Coun Whitby said an application for #55 million of PFI funding would be submitted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2007, the next available date for applications. Other options for cash grants from funding bodies would also be explored. Next Monday's cabinet meeting will finally put paid to the Lord Rogers' Eastside library, which at an estimated cost of #179.5 million has been declared too expensive by the council's Tory-Liberal Democrat leadership.
A report drawn up for the cabinet by consultants Invigour dismissed claims that the split-site option had not been properly costed.
Invigour was appointed after a council scrutiny committee criticised a "lack of clarity" in cabinet thinking and an absence of information about the way a split-site library would work.
Invigour found that comparisons between the split-site and Rogers options were made on a "sound and proper basis" and the consultants rejected claims that the Centenary Square site, between the Rep Theatre and Baskerville House, was too small for an iconic building.
"The rationale for leaving the site undeveloped was that it should be reserved for something special and the rate per square metre allowed equates in quality terms with the Richard Rogers concept at Eastside once adjustments are made for site specific factors and fundamental building size and shape economics.
"We can see no reason why an imaginative and creative design should not produce a building of considerable architectural merit in addition to providing a facility fit for purpose in the 21st century," Invigour's report concluded.
Invigour also found that the financial risk to the council of building the Rogers library would be "intolerable" if a bid for PFI funding did not succeed.
Coun Whitby said: "This report shows clearly and undeniably that the cabinet has been provided with in-depth and accurate information upon which to make a decision.
"I am absolutely determined to get this library built and it is important now that we draw a line under the Rogers scheme and get on with identifying the funding for the two-centre option. After the cabinet has taken its decision we intend to appoint a project manager to put together a funding package."