Reading in the Eye of Binhai

Located in the Binhai Cultural District in Tianjin, China, the five-level library covers 34,000m2 and can hold up to 1.2 million books on its undulating shelves.

Designed by Dutch studio MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), the library has been nicknamed “The Eye of Binhai”, because it bases itself around an auditorium with a spherical centerpiece which changes color and projects images.

The library features reading areas on the ground floor; lounge areas and educational facilities in the middle sections; and offices, meeting spaces, and computer/audio rooms at the top.  There are even two rooftop patios. The entire space gives off a peaceful, inviting feeling, which makes you want to spend time there. This is the exact right feeling to have when you are in the library!

We’re not sure how much studying we’d get done though, because we’d be far too busy looking at the awesome architecture!

Also, as it turns out, most of these futuristic-looking floor-to-ceiling shelves are painted to look like they are full of books, but in reality, many of the covers in the hall are images of book spines printed on perforated aluminium. Plans for the future include the possibility of accessing these upper decks from rooms behind the shelves, but until then only the spaces lower down are accessible.

Even so, what a beautiful place to sit down, put up your feet, and read!


How often do you go to your local library?



Nickname: (n) This is the pet name your close friends or family call you.

Book spine: (n) This is “backbone” of the book, the part you can read easily when it is on the shelf.

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