Designed by Rotterdam-based, powerhouse Dutch design firm MVRDV, the 33,700-square-metre Tianjin Binhai Public Library is a feast for the eyes as much as for the soul. Commissioned as part of a new cultural district in the Chinese coastal city, the atrium of the building has been built to look like a giant 3D eyeball, staring out into the street through the glazed glass facade.
The library, which miraculously took only three years to build from first sketch to site opening, is a whopping five storeys tall and is entirely covered in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves swirling and curving across various levels, to form the shape of an eye-socket. The pupil of the eye is formed by what looks like glowing disco ball in the centre of one of the rooms.
The curved bookshelves provide many sleek nooks and crannies in which to cuddle up with your favourite book. Stairways also snake their way up through the shelves, giving visitors access to the different floors.
This incredible building is one of five recent commissions by the city’s Urban Planning and Design Institute, which is hoping to reinvigorate Tianjin with a cultural urban centre. By the looks of the library, design lovers will find heaven next time they visit Tianjin.