When you walk into a library, you will typically see most people with their noses buried in a book or intently perusing the shelves for their next exciting literary find. But we can’t imagine anyone would be able to keep their heads down while sitting in this incredibly cool library in China. The Tianjin Bihan library, located in the Binhai Cultural District near Beijing, is probably the most accurate rendering of what a book heaven would look like in real life.
Designed by Dutch firm MVRDV, the massive, five-story, 368,000 square-foot library gives off an ethereal vibe thanks to its all-white interior. The structure –which took only three years to complete– houses 1.2 million books that sky-high curvy shelves that form a captivating wave-like pattern. Some of the books that line the shelves are intentionally unreachable because they’re actually aluminum replicas that are strictly intended for aesthetic purposes.
But they’re not the only eye-catching objects: In the center of the library’s ground floor, a giant glowing orb fittingly referred to as “the eye” caps off the building’s futuristic feel and serves as an inviting hangout spot for visitors who wish to read or simply sit and take in the awesome angle-filled views.
“The Tianjin Binhai library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas in an interview with Designboom. “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.”
In addition to the ball-shaped auditorium, the library’s first and second floors are equipped with additional spaces for lounging and reading. Offices, meeting rooms and audio and computer rooms take up the top two floors of the building.