The Eye of Binhai

A library in Tianjin, China

No one will ever peek in or bother you, in this place. There will always be a corner where you can take refuge with your book, all alone. This is the final frontier of reading, a stunning way to restore book to its former glory.

Designed and built by the Rotterdam-based architectural firm MVRDV, along with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute — TUPDI —, in a record-breaking time of only three years due to a tight schedule imposed by the local municipality, the Tianjin Binhai Library is a 33,700m2 cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium around which floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade. The undulating bookshelf is the building’s main spatial device, and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and even louvres on the façade. Located in Tianjin, China, as part of the Binhai Cultural Center, next to many media rooms the library offers space for 1,2 million books. It has since been dubbed “The Eye of Binhai,” because of the gigantic sphere of the main room which appears like an iris, and can be seen from the park outside through an eye-shaped opening.


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