2 / 10

Design work

It covers 34,000 square metres and can hold up to 1.2 million books. (MVRDV)

China's new state-of-the-art library is a futuristic book-lovers dream

With its white walls, circular dome and sculpted appearance, China’s Tianjin Binhai Library looks more like it was designed in the year 3000 rather than 2017.

The awe-inspiring creation, which has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, can hold up to 1.2 million books.

It took Dutch architecture firm MVRDV only three years to complete – making it the company’s fastest creation.

At 33,700 metres squared, the vast building holds a reading area on the ground floor, lounge areas in the middle sections and offices, meeting spaces, and computer/audio rooms at the top.

A giant sphere dominates the centre of the library, which has now been dubbed ‘The Eye of Binhai’.

‘The Tianjin Binhai Library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf,’ Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, said in a press release.

‘We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its centre. The bookshelves are great spaces 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. Together they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.’

From da Vinci to Pollock: The most expensive paintings ever sold
The most incredible photos from the Masters of Landscape photography book
WW1 in colour: Stunning images bring historic conflict to life ahead of Armistice Day