Are you an avid reader who loves to travel? If so, add the spectacular Tianjin Binhai Library, located in the Binhai Cultural District, China, to your bucket list.
The awe-inspiring structure was developed by the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV. Past projects are evidence of the firm’s limitless creativity. In addition to creating the Jenga towers in Vienna, the group produced the Skygarden in Seoul. Now, they’ve unveiled the impressive library.
The Tianjin Binhai Library, designed in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), contains a whopping 1.2 million books within its curved walls. Reportedly, the “cultural complex master” plan — which is being carried out by GMP Architekten — is to join the library to other buildings through a series of “cultural corridors.”
In total, there are five stories in the 34,200-square-meter glass structure. Guests enter through the oval opening in the front to eventually meet the large, spherical auditorium known as “the eye.” Design Boom reports that the eye is the structure’s focal point. Explained MVRDV’s director, Winy Maas: “The Eye is the centre of the library. It ‘hollows out’ the building and creates, out of bookshelves, an environment to sit, to read, [and] to hang out.”
The ground floor and auditorium are for reading. The first and second floors contain reading rooms and lounge areas. On the top two floors, offices, meeting rooms, computers and audio rooms can be found. Finally, a subterranean story accommodates service spaces, book storage, and a large archive.
The entire space is made up of bookshelves which extend into a flattering topography. They contour the entirety of the interior and act as both stairs and seating. Maas describes them as “great spaces to sit and at the same time allow for access to the upper floors. The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing.”
Said Maas, “The Tianjin Binhai library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf. Not being able to touch the building’s volume we ‘rolled’ the ball-shaped auditorium demanded by the brief into the building and the building simply made space for it, as a ‘hug’ between media and knowledge.”
She added, “We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its center. The bookshelves are great spaces to sit and at the same time allow for access to the upper floors. the angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing.”
In total, the library took just three years to complete.
MVRDV designed the Tianjin Binhai Library located in the Binhai Cultural District, China.
The unique structure houses 1.2 million books along curved bookcases that line the entire interior.
The focal point of the library is a spherical auditorium, dubbed “the eye.”
All in all, the project took just three years to complete.
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