Sometimes you just have to stop and stare.
That’s the reaction I had when looking at the pictures of the new Tianjin Binhai Library in China.
At the center of the 34,000 square-foot structure sits a spherical auditorium, which has given rise to the nickname “The Eye of Binhai.” The rest of the structure flows and swirls outward and upward revealing rows and rows of terraced bookshelves that lead into public use areas.
“Taking just three years to complete, the library features a reading area on the ground floor, lounge areas in the middle sections and offices, meeting spaces, and computer/audio rooms at the top,” writes David Raskin in HankerMag. “We’re not sure how much studying we’d get done though – we’d be far too busy marveling at the awesome architecture!”
As communities come to terms with dwindling interest in public libraries, this beauty – which houses approximately 1.2 million print books – reminds us that we are all social creatures, and while technology may change, we all seek ways to be awed, inspired and connected to what matters.
This is a win for the future of print books.