Earlier this month, the social media was flooded by pictures of the spectacular futuristic library of China. People went crazy looking at the design of the Tianjin Binhai Library located in the Binhai Cultural District of Tianjin, which has books stored in shelves from floor-to-ceiling. Although spectators loved the idea and design of the building, there were concerns about a lot of things, and with time these concerns came out to be real issues which have now been told to the world. Here, we are trying to tell you all that you need to know before you visit the library:
1. The pristine white interiors
As you can see, the main hall of the library has been given the purity of the white color from floor-to-ceiling. Everything, from the floor to the stairs to the bookshelves have a welcoming vibe to them. Don’t you think so?
2. ‘The Eye of Binhai’
The one structure that must have caught your eye is the giant sphere placed in the center of the building. Well, that is an auditorium having a capacity of 110 people, which gives the feeling that the entire building is like an eye and the sphere is perfectly placed to look like the pupil of the eye. The library has thus been named as ‘The Eye Of Binhai.’
3. Not just ‘A LIBRARY’
The library which was made in just three years from its first sketch to the opening has many facilities for people that come to pay a visit. There is a reading area situated on the ground floor; then there are lounge areas in the mid-section of the building and at the top one can find meeting spaces, offices and even computer/audio rooms.
4. High In Numbers
The area that is covered by the library is around 33,700-square-meter and “The Eye of Binhai” can store almost 1.2 million books. Right now there are around 200,000 books present in the library. These numbers and the futuristic design of the library impressed people so much that since its opening in October 2017, there have been almost 10,000 people visiting the premises.
5. The initial euphoria faded because of fake books
Yes, you read that sub-heading correctly here! The spectacular vision that literally blew the minds of people has now been proven to be only a vision with not much reality in it. What we mean by this is that most of the books that were shown in the pictures of the main hall were images with printing done on aluminum plates so that they could look like books. Many people were left disappointed when they reached the library only to find that not all rows and columns had real books stored in them.
The Deputy Director of the library Liu Xiufeng told AFP that actually there are rooms having traditional bookshelves which have most of the books as the authorities didn’t allow to put all the books in the main hall. He also said that the books that were present in the photographs too had to be removed from there as the main atrium is the area which has been approved only for “circulation, sitting, reading and discussion,” and no books can basically be stored in that there.
6. A tight schedule lead to change of plans
The library was designed by a Dutch architecture firm MVRDV along with the Urban Planning Design Institute of Tianjin. The Dutch firm had initially planned that the upper bookshelves in the main hall would be made accessible through rooms which would be placed behind the atrium, but as the local authorities were making them run on a tight schedule, this plan was dropped.
7. Step up with precaution
The stairs leading to the upper levels of the library have lately proven dangerous for selfie-enthusiasts, who don’t really look at the steps but keep their focus on either their phone or the ceiling to have the picture. So it is advisable that you watch your steps before you take that perfect shot. Apart from this, the library itself advises that readers below the age of 14 or those who wear heels or people who are unfit for hiking should not climb up to the book mountain.
We must say that the design of the building actually is quite stunning and everything would have been perfect only if the misleading information was not put out to the public before people caught on the lies. Nevertheless, this still doesn’t change the fact that the Binhai Library is still an architectural marvel to look at, and in any case, a book would have been read only by looking down at it, not up towards the ceiling. 😉
Feature Image And Other Images: Courtesy of MVRDV
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