This futuristic library—I call it the Library of Alexandria from the future—is every book lovers dream.

If you are a book lover then you are going to LOVE this library in China, because after all, some people still want to feel the paper on their fingers when devouring a new book.

The Tianjin Binhai Library is a 33,700 m2 cultural center that has a bright spherical auditorium around which cascades of books, stacked together from the floor to the ceiling make up one of the coolest libraries we’ve ever seen.

The library was built in three years. Image credit: Ossip Van Duivenbode / MVRDV

It’s like the Library of Alexandria but from the future.

The corrugated shelving is the main spatial fingerprint of the building and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, as well as seats.

The Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in a record time of only three years due to the tight schedule imposed by the local municipality.

Along with many press rooms, it offers space for 1.2 million books.

Yes, you read correctly, One point two million books.

The library’s exterior is as beautiful as its interior. Image credit: Ossip Van Duivenbode / MVRDV

The Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, together with the Tianjin Institute for Planning and Urban Design (TUPDI), have designed Tianjin’s new library as part of the Binhai Cultural Center of the city and part of a larger urban plan to provide a cultural district for the city, and what better way to make a statement than to create a supermassive library that can house 1.2 million books?

The library’s main part—or at least one of its main parts—is located at the center of the room, where a huge sphere with mirrors houses an auditorium and reflects the countless shelves that surround it, creating a dazzling atmosphere for reading and studying.

The Books stretch all the way to the ceiling. Image credit: Ossip Van Duivenbode / MVRDV

“The Tianjin Binhai Library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf. 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” says Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV.

“We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its center. 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. Together they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.”

This is the library of the future. Image credit: Ossip Van Duivenbode / MVRDV

With about 1.2 million books, the Tianjin Binhai Library has five floors and you can find books on each corner.

The rectilinear exterior of the library is defined by its internal topographic atrium that is centered on its spherical auditorium, which is referred to as the “Binhai Eye”.

Find out more about the library at https://www.mvrdv.com/


Hi! Welcome to my website. My name is Ivan Petricevic. I am a founder, editor, writer, and I film documentaries from time to time. You may have seen me appear on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and Gaia TV among others.