New home for books looks like something out of an awesome science fiction movie.

The usual reason to go to a library is to expand your mind by researching specific topic or browsing through the books and finding a new line of interest. Some others might opt to visit just to have a quiet place to think. But the residents of Tianjin have yet one more reason to visit the library: theirs looks awesomely beautiful.

The design of the Tianjin Binhai Library was a joint project between Dutch architectural firm MVRDV and the Tianjin Planning and Design Laboratory.

The 33,700-square meter (362,744 square feet) facility has five above-ground floors with conference rooms, offices, and audio and computer rooms, but it’s the central atrium that really makes the building special.

Bookshelves line the undulating walls, and at the center of the open area is a large, light-emitting sphere called the Eye.

As to why they didn’t name it the Moon instead, the reason becomes clear when you step outside the library and look back in through the large, elliptical window.

It’s pretty clear, though, that the highly stylized layout isn’t exactly a case of form following function. For example, you might be wondering how in the world visitors are supposed to access the books stored on the upper shelves.

The truth, though, is that not all of those are books. Some of what’s visible on the top shelves are actually jus graphics printed on the wall, since it’d be far too impractical for the staff to actually get books down from such a height whenever someone wanted to leaf through them.

Still, with a capacity of 1.2 million actual books, we don’t think visitors will be running out of reading material anytime soon, and with such a beautiful design, the Tianjin Binhai Library looks to be worth a visit even if you can’t read Chinese.

Source: MVRDV, YouTube/New China TV
Images: MVRDV
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