Welcome to the World’s Coolest Library!


MVRDV and Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI) have completed Tianjin Binhai Library as part of a larger master plan to provide a cultural district for the city. The 33,700m2 cultural centre featuring a radiant spherical auditorium and floor-to-ceiling cascading bookcases not only acts as an education centre, but also is a social space and connector from the park into the cultural district.

An oval opening punctured through the building is propped open by the Eye, a luminous sphere with an auditorium, which takes the main stage within the atrium and enlarges the perceived space within. Terraced bookshelves which echo the form of the sphere create an interior, topographical, landscape whose contours reach out and wrap around the façade. In this way, the stepped bookshelves within are represented on the outside, with each level doubling up as a louvre.

The futuristic library sits within a sheltered gallery, topped with cathedral-like vaulted arches, which winds its way throughout the scheme. The five-level building also contains extensive educational facilities, arrayed along the edges of the interior, and is accessible through the main atrium space. The public programme is supported by subterranean service spaces, book storage, and a large archive. From the ground floor, visitors can easily access reading areas for children and the elderly, the auditorium, the main entrance, terraced access to the floors above and connected to the cultural complex. The first and second floors consist primarily of reading rooms, books and lounge areas whilst the upper floors also include meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms and two rooftop patios.