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Is This the Coolest Place to Read Books in China?

By Irvin Hanni

Is This the Coolest Place to Read Books in China?

The internet seems to think so, as wanderlust-inducing pictures of the newly-opened Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, went viral around social media recently.

Image: MVRDV

It’s not difficult to see why, though. This visionary architectural piece certainly looks like a bibliophile’s fantasy land. The predominantly white interior exudes a sleek and futuristic feel as eye-catching as it is insta-worthy. Cascading structures that serve as stairs, seating, and bookshelves curve around a huge luminous orb in the centre of the atrium.

Image: MVRDV

The centre atrium has a capacity of 110 people, serving as a place for sitting, reading and discussion. But that’s not all there is to the whole library. The 33,700-square-foot building also contains additional reading rooms, lounge areas, offices, meeting spaces, and two rooftop patios. In total, the whole library can store up to 1.2 million books.

Image: MVRDV

Designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning Design Institute, the library was built as part of Binhai Cultural Centre, a 90-hectare creative space that includes the Binhai Modern Art Museum, Binhai Modern City and Industrial Discovery Museum, as well as the Binhai Performing Arts Center.

Image: MVRDV

This superstar library is located in the bustling metropolis of Tianjin, located approximately 100 kilometres away from Beijing. High frequency trains transport visitors between cities in just one hour, making Tianjin a perfect day trip from the capital city.

In the midst of avant garde buildings and old European architecture that fills the atmosphere, the city hosts a range of attractions including Ancient Style Town, Italian Style town, as well as the Eye of Tianjin, the only ferris wheel in the world to be built on a bridge.

Image: MVRDV

Since its opening on 1st October 2017, the library has gotten a huge attention – both good and bad. Songs of praises and acknowledgment over its super cool design were tainted with criticism on other parts. But one thing is for sure, it definitely is one of the coolest places to read in China, if not the whole world.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page” – Saint Augustine

GETTING THERE: AirAsia X flies to Beijing and various destinations. For lowest fares and flight info, visit airasia.com.

About the Author

Irvin Hanni

She is happiest when cycling in a foreign destination, rubbing noses with a cat, or napping by a lake. Her goal is to touch every owl, monkey, puppy, tiger, and turtle that she meets on her travels.

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