Futuristic library goes viral on social media
A library in Tianjin, less than 3 hours’ drive from Beijing, has recently drawn nationwide attention due to its futuristic and elegant design. 
Pictures of Tianjin Binhai Library have gone viral on Chinese social media, Sina Weibo, with headlines hailing it as the “most beautiful library”.
The public library has been built by a Dutch firm MVRDV and Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, as part of a larger plan to provide a cultural district for the city, according to MVRDV. 
The 33,700 m² cultural centre features a luminous spherical auditorium and floor-to-ceiling cascading bookcases, serving not only as an education centre, but also social space and connector from the park to the cultural district.
Different levels of the building look like an eye socket - the center of the auditorium has a huge spherical glowing auditorium that forms the pupil of the eye-shaped library.
The futuristic library has curved lines that act as bookshelves arrayed on either side of the sphere and the stairs can be used as a seating area too.
According to MVRDV, the five-level building also contains extensive educational facilities, arrayed along the edges of the interior and accessible through the main atrium space.
The first and second floors consist primarily of reading rooms, books and lounge areas whilst the upper floors also include meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms and two rooftop patios.
The library is MVRDV’s most rapid fast-track project to date - it took just three years from the first sketch to the opening.
MVRDV said that due to the tight construction schedule, one essential part of the concept had to be dropped, which is the access to the upper bookshelves from rooms located behind the atrium, adding that the change was made locally and against MVRDV’s advice. 
The project is MVRDV’s second completed design in Tianjin, following the TEDA Urban Fabric which was completed in 2009 and provides 280,000 m² of mixed high and low-rise housing and retail.
Photos: MVRDV

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