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project profile


The team


Architect: MVRDV Co-Architect: Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute


Structural engineers: Sanjiang Steel Structure Design


Lighting designer: Huayi Jianyuan lighting design


Interior architects: TADI interior


Structural engineers: Sanjiang Steel Structure Design


as reading, walking, meeting and discussing. Together they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.” The five-level building also contains


extensive educational facilities, arrayed along the edges of the interior and accessible through the main atrium space. The public space is supported by subterranean service spaces, book storage, and a large archive. From the ground floor, visitors can easily


access reading areas for children and the elderly, the auditorium, the main entrance, terraced access to the floors above and connected to the cultural complex. The first and second floors comprise primarily of reading rooms, books and lounge areas whilst the upper floors also include meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms and two rooftop patios. In addition to the many media rooms, the public library offers space for 1.2 million books. Site excavation immediately followed the


design phase, but the tight construction schedule set by local officials forced one essential part of the concept to be dropped: access to the upper bookshelves from rooms placed behind the atrium. This change, made locally and against MVRDV’s advice, means access to the upper shelves is currently impossible. The Dutch practice says the full vision for the library may be realised in the future. Until then perforated aluminium plates are printed to represent books on the upper shelves. Cleaning is done via ropes and movable scaffolding. Tianjin Binhai Library was built according


to the Chinese Green Star energy efficiency label and has achieved two star status. The library has attracted thousands of visitors and admirers since it opened in October 2017 with reviewers describing it as the most beautiful library in China. Such a reception shows that the people of Tianjin have embraced the new space, says MVRDV, and that the library has become the urban living room it was intended to be.


www.mvrdv.com


leisuredab.co.uk 31


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