It looks like something out of a science fiction novel, but this incredible library is real. The Tianjin Binhai Library, which has just opened in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin, offers visitors a one-of-an-kind experience with books.
Five stories high and more than 36,000 square feet, the library features an awe-inspiring auditorium with a round, translucent sphere in the centre, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that can hold up to 1.2 million physical books.
The library in Tianjin Binhai, China, opened in October 2017 and was designed by the Dutch architectural design firm MVRDV in collaboration with local architects from the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute.
It was completed in just three years, an extraordinary feat given the scale of the project.
The library’s giant spherical structure is surrounded by bookshelves that curve around the sphere, all the way to the ceiling. It’s as if you are walking inside an eye – which is why the library already has a nickname – “The Eye of Binhai.”
“The Tianjin Binhai Library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf,” Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, said in a press release. “We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its centre.”
“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,” Maas added. “Together they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.”
Since its opening on 1 October the building has been a great hit in Chinese media and social media, with many remarking that it is the ‘Most beautiful library of China’ (The Bund). Comments on social media call the building a “sea of knowledge”, “Super Sci-Fi” or simply “The Eye.”
More importantly, the people of Tianjin have embraced the new space.
Take a look around the breathtaking structure in the video below. Share this incredible library with the book-lovers you know!