MVRDV complete futuristic Tianjin library with cascading bookshelves and enormous mirrored 'eye'

The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing
– Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder

Dutch architects MVRDV have completed the Tianjin Binhai Library in China, a 33,700sq m (362,700sq ft) cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium which doubles as an enormous mirrored ‘eye’.

Floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade organically around the auditorium, forming the building's main spatial device, while also creating stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and louvres on the façade.

The five-storey building holds 1.2 million books, which can be taken to a multitude of reading rooms, lounges and educational spaces arrayed along the edges of the interior and accessible through the main atrium space. Subterranean rooms make room for book storage, a large archive and rooms for public events.

The oval opening entrance to the site is propped open by the giant reflective eye, creating an interior landmark that enlarges the perceived space within and looks out at passers-by.

“The Tianjin Binhai Library interior is almost cave-like with its continuous bookshelf,” said Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “Not being able to touch the building’s volume, we ‘rolled’ the ball-shaped auditorium demanded by the brief into the building and the building simply made space for it, as a ‘hug’ between media and knowledge.

“We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside – a new urban living room is its centre. The bookshelves are great spaces to sit and at the same time allow for access to the upper floors. The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing.”

The Tianjin Binhai Library – designed with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), interior designers TADI and lighting designer Huayi Jianyuan, and built by Sanjiang Steel Structure Design – has been constructed in just three years as part of a larger plan to provide an arts district for the city – a coastal metropolis outside Beijing.

The library, located adjacent to a park, is one of a cluster of five cultural buildings within the Binhai Cultural Centre, masterplanned by German architects GMP.

Designed by an international team, including Bernard Tschumi Architects, Bing Thom Architects and HH Design, these buildings are connected by a public corridor underneath a glass canopy.

MVRDV are working on several other big projects in China, including a sports and cultural complex in Shenzhen and a huge public park and cultural zone in Shanghai.

MVRDV  Tianjin  China  library design  architecture  Tianjin Binhai Library  Winy Maas 
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Dutch architects MVRDV have completed the Tianjin Binhai Library in China, a 33,700sq m (362,700sq ft) cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium which doubles as an enormous mirrored ‘eye’. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade organically around the auditorium, forming the building's main spatial device, while also creating stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and louvres on the façade. The five-storey building holds 1.2 million books, which can be taken to a multitude
CLD,VAT,HAM,AAC,ARC,DES
Floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade organically around the auditorium, forming the building's main spatial device / Ossip van Duivenbode
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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