The newly-opened Tianjin Binhai Library in China boasts a capacity up to 1.2million books, spanning 34,200 m2 over 5 floors. The venue was designed around a mirrored spherical auditorium which, coupled with the main atrium, forms an eye that gives panoramas of the interior space and reflects the beautiful park in front of the building.
The futuristic library sits within a sheltered gallery, topped with cathedral-like vaulted arches, which winds its way throughout the scheme. An oval opening, punctured through the building is propped open by the Eye, a mirrored sphere with an auditorium, which takes the main stage within the atrium and enlarges the perceived space within.
Terraced bookshelves nestle around the sphere on the interior, leading visitors up into the heart of the library, before continuing out around the building as louvres, wrapping the exterior.
The five levels of the building contain an extensive programme of educational facilities. The subterranean level has in it service spaces, book storage and a large archive, whilst above this on the ground floor are easy access reading areas for children and the elderly, the main entrance and access to the cultural complex, the auditorium and terraced access to the floors above. The first and second floors consist primarily of reading rooms, books and lounge areas whilst the top two floors also include meeting rooms, offices, computer rooms and audio rooms.