Spectacular Chinese Library Holds 1.2 Million Books within Its Curved Walls

MVRDV tianjin binhai library

We’ve previously introduced you to the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, whose innovative designs show no creative bounds. From Jenga towers in Vienna, to a Skygarden in Seoul, their latest project—a library in Tianjin, China—continues to impress.

Located in the Binhai Cultural District, and designed in collaboration with Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), the spectacular library houses up to 1.2 million books. Part of a larger “cultural complex master plan”—being carried out by GMP architekten—the library joins four other buildings through a series of “cultural corridors.”

The five-story, 34,200-square-meter glass structure features an oval opening onto the interior, with a large spherical auditorium dubbed “the eye” as its focal point. “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,” explains MVRDV’s director Winy Maas.

In addition to the ground floor reading area and auditorium, the first and second floors are home to further reading rooms and lounge areas. The top two floors house offices, meeting rooms, computer and audio rooms. Terraced book shelves contour the entirety of the curved 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.”

MVRDV have designed a spectacular new Tianjin Binhai Library located in the Binhai Cultural District, China.

MVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai library

The mind-blowing structure houses 1.2 million books along curved book cases that cover the entire interior.

MVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai library

The library's focal point is a spherical auditorium, dubbed “the eye.”

MVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai library

The entire project took just three years to complete.

MVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV tianjin binhai libraryMVRDV: Website
h/t: [designboom, arch daily, this isn’t happiness]

All images via MVRDV.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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