An amazing library that looks like a huge eyeball in in Tianjin (China) has been built by Dutch firm MVRDV.
The atrium of Binhai Public Library is designed to look like a 3D pupil, staring out through the building’s glazed facade, as a cornea.
The 5 storey-high space is framed by floor-to-ceiling bookshelves staggered at different levels forming an eye socket shape, while a spherical glowing central auditorium form the pupil.
Curving lined shelves provide areas where visitors can sit and read while observing others.
Never ending bookshelves continue out across a glass facade, forming waving louvres that reflect sun glare. The interior is almost cave-like in a 33,700-square-metre building.
Upper shelves above the atrium, currently unreachable, are covered in perforated aluminium plates printed to look like books. It’s an extraordinary trompe l’oeil, an optical illusion.
The library also houses education facilities, located around the periphery and accessed via the main hall.
Subterranean rooms hold large archives providing extra book storage.
Reading areas for children are located on the ground floor, with lounge areas on first and second floors. The upper floors contain meeting- rooms, offices and two rooftop terraces.
Tianjin Binhai Public Library sits alongside other cultural buildings by Bernard Tschumi Architects, Bing Thom Architects and HH Design, alll connected by a public corridor sheltered beneath a glass canopy.
Based in Rotterdam, MVRDV studio is led by Maas along with architects Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries.
Maas was ambassador at 2017 Dutch Design Week. He presented a concept for a colourful, futuristic hotel and launched a book arguing that architects and designers shouldn’t be afraid to copy from each other.
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