China newly opened a new innovative library that covers a staggering 1.2 million books. The new Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, was designed by the Dutch architectural firm MVRDV to look like a giant eye.
This Library which is of 362,744 sq. ft. was accomplished by MVRDV a Dutch architect in association with local TUPDI designers in Tianjin Binhai. Cultural centre featuring a glowing sphere-shaped auditorium on which floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade. The undulating bookshelf is the building’s main spatial device, and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and even louvers on the façade. Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in a record-breaking time of only three years due to a tight schedule imposed by the local municipality. Resulting to various media rooms it offers space for 1.2 million books.
It was specially made for the Municipality of Tianjin Binhai and is situated in the traditional hub of Binhai district in Tianjin, a coastal metropolis outside Beijing, China. Library is situated beside a country park, is one of a group of five cultural blocks designed by an international cadre of architects including Bernard Tschumi Architects, Bing Thom Architects, HH Design and MVRDV. All buildings are linked by an open corridor under a glass canopy designed by GMP. Inside the GMP main plan MVRDV set a strict volume within which all design was concentrated.
The building’s form extrudes in the air from the site and is ‘punctured’ by a spherical auditorium in the centre. Bookstands are displayed on both side of the sphere and turn as the lot from stairs to seating, equal continuing along the ceiling to create an illuminated topography. These curves also remain along the two full glass open space that attach the library to the park outside and the public corridor inside, serving as louvers to protect the interior against excessive sunlight whilst also creating a bright and evenly lit interior.
“The interior of the Library is very nearly cave-like, an incessant 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’ among media and knowledge” speaks Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its centre. The bookstands are great sitting room 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. Organised they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.”
The five stages building also have wide educational facilities, arranged sideways the edges of the interior and accessible through the main atrium space. Public platform is maintained by deep service spaces, book storage, and a large archive. From the base level tourists can easily access reading areas for kids and the elderly, the hall, the main entrance, terraced access to the floors above and connection to the cultural complex. The starting and next floors contain mostly of reading rooms, books and asitting room areas whilst the upper floors also include meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms and two roof top patios.
The Tianjin Binhai library is MVRDV’s best quick fast track project to era. It took just three years from the main sketch to the opening. In line for the given conclusion date place excavation immediately followed the design phase. The tough timetable required one important portion of the model to be released: access to the upper bookshelves from rooms placed behind the atrium. This modification was complete locally and against MVRDV’s advice and rendered access to the upper shelves currently impossible. The complete idea for the library may be gathered in the future, but till then go through aluminium plates printed to represent books on the upper shelves. Cleaning is done through ropes and movable scaffold.
This Library was constructed conferring the Chinese Green Star label and has accomplished two star statuses. MVRDV collaborated with Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), structural engineers Sanjiang Steel Structure Design, TADI interior architects and Huayi Jianyuan lighting design. It is the next realised MVRDV venture in Tianjin Binhai next to TEDA Urban Fabric, finished in 2009.