A prolific figure in post-war architecture in Birmingham, John Madin's best-known work is the Birmingham Central Library.
Madin was born in Moseley, Birmingham on 23 March 1924 and died on 8 January 2012. He served in Egypt with the Royal Engineers in World War II.
Madin was a significant figure of post-war Birmingham architecture. Madin's work has been much neglected and was not highly regarded by the early-21st century political leadership within Birmingham. Clive Dutton, the city's former Director of Planning and Regeneration, described Madin's Central Library as a “concrete monstrosity” (Madin's original plans were for the building to be clad in marble; the city, however, was unwilling to foot the bill so a concrete finish was used instead). A replacement, The Library of Birmingham was opened on 3 September 2013 in Centenary Square, which resulted in the previous building being demolished, starting early in 2015.
John Madin Design Group were also responsible for the early designs for Dawley New Town, which later became Telford. During the 1970s, Madin became increasingly involved in master-planning projects in the Middle East.
Societies such as the 20th Century Society campaigned to have some of his buildings listed and English Heritage twice recommended the former Library should be listed, but this attempt was unsuccessful. The two Madin designed buildings to gain listed status are Juniper Hill in Lapworth, Warwickshire, a residential property designed and built between 1957 and 1959 and designated at Grade II on 29 October 2013, and St James's House, Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, erected in 1954-7 and one of a group of postwar office buildings designated by English Heritage in January 2015.