Dutch firm MVRDV has built a spectacular public library that looks like a huge eye, as part of a new cultural district in Tianjin, China.
Located in the Binhai Cultural District, Tianjin Binhai Library is one of a cluster of five buildings as part of an ongoing effort to make Tianjin more of a cultural hub. Along with many media rooms, it houses 1.2 million books and also connects visitors to a nearby park.
The five levels of the building contain an extensive program of educational facilities. The subterranean level has service spaces, book storage, and a large archive. The ground floor has easy to access reading areas for children and the elderly, the main entrance and access to the cultural complex, the auditorium and terraced access to the floors above. The first and second floors consist primarily of reading rooms, books, and lounge areas. And the top two floors include meeting rooms, offices, computer rooms, and audio rooms.
The curving lines of the shelves provide areas where visitors can sit and read, and observe others doing the same. They also continue out across the glass facade, forming louvers that deflect the glare of the sun.
Tianjin Binhai Public Library sits alongside building a new exhibition center by GMP, as well as other cultural buildings by Bernard Tschumi Architects, Bing Thom Architects and HH Design. All five are connected by a public corridor sheltered beneath a glass canopy.
Based in Rotterdam, MVRDV is led by Maas along with architects Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries.
Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries with Wenchian Shi, María López Calleja, Kyosuk Lee, Sen Yang, Marta Pozo, Chi Li, Ray Zhu, Ángel Sánchez Navarro, Daehee Suk, Guang Ruey Tan, Xichen Sun, Michael Zhang, Mariya Gyaurova, Jaime Dominguez Bálgoma, Antonio Luca Coco, Costanza Cuccato, Matteo Artico, and Tomaso Maschietti
Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries with Renske van der Stoep, Martine Vledder, Kyosuk Lee, Gerard Heerink, Chi Li, Francisco Pomares, Nicolas Lee, Claudia Bode, Sharon Sin, Jaap Baselmans, Herman Gaarman, Hui Hsin Liao, Antonio Luca Coco, Costanza Cuccato, Matteo Artico and Tomaso Maschietti.
Co-Architect: Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), Tianjin, China
All images Ossip van Duivenbode via MVRDV.