Last edited 16 Nov 2020

Tianjin Binhai Library


(Image copyright MVRDV)

In June 2016, the Tianjin Binhai Library in China, designed by Dutch architects MVRDV neared completion. Designed in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), the library is part of a larger plan to provide a cultural district for the city.

The futuristic library is topped with cathedral-like vaulted arches and sits within a sheltered gallery, which winds its way throughout the scheme.


(Image copyright MVRDV)

The Eye, a mirrored sphere with an auditorium, props up an oval opening which punctures through the building. Stepped bookshelves are represented on the exterior, each level doubling up as a louvre reaching out and wrapped around the façade.


(Image copyright MVRDV)

MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas said: “The Eye is the centre of the library. It ‘hollows out’ the building and creates, out of bookshelves, an environment to sit, to read, to hang out, to climb and to access, to create an organic social space. In its heart is the auditorium which mirrors the environment, giving a 360-degree panorama of the space inside; a truly reflective and pensive environment.”


(Image copyright MVRDV)

The five-storey building contains extensive educational facilities. The basement level contains service spaces, book storage and a large archive; the ground floor includes easy-access reading areas for children and the elderly as well as the main entrance and auditorium. The first and second storeys consist of reading rooms, books and lounge areas; whilst the top two storeys include meeting rooms, offices and computer rooms.


(Image copyright MVRDV)

Tianjin Library is due to open in mid-2017, and will become a hub for the central-business district (CBD), old town, residential districts, commercial areas and the government quarter.

Content and images courtesy of MVRDV.

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