Cape Town – The Tianjin Binhai Library is a haven for all those who love to read and delve into the letters spread across pages. The library is an architectural marvel and stands as one of the largest libraries in the world.
Eye of the reader
The Tianjin Library was birthed from collaboration by a Dutch architecture company MVRDV and local designers TUPDI.
It is located 100 km out of China’s capital city and has become a book lover’s paradise. The building was designed to resemble a giant eye and this can be seen when viewing the structure externally.
It is home to an astonishing 1.2 million books and that fresh paperback smell draws bookworms from all around the world to its doors.
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The library has five levels and each of them has a dedicated space to the following - a reading area, an auditorium, meeting space, computer or audio room, and lounge areas.
A total of 35 000 square feet makes up the library, and the walls curve to allow more room to explore, with reading material placed in every single nook and cranny.
The shelves are located from floor to ceiling. The painstaking detail is illuminated above the books to create an illusion, and books are painted to appear on the highest shelves.
Although it may appear like something out of Hogwarts, sadly the books do no levitate towards you!
The increased number of spaces allow for a multi-functional areas to be used by the public. Visitors are provided ample seating space as the shelves act as a step and seat for readers.
The library took a total of three years to complete and is home to an internal auditorium.
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Co–founder of MVRDV, Winy Maas discussed the auditorium with the Telegraph, saying “We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside, a new urban living room is its centre”.
It is placed at the centre of the building in the shape of the eye’s pupil and has been labelled as ‘the eye’. Since it opened on 1 October 2017, it has been on our list of must-see creative spaces.
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