Above and left: the cool white
colour temperature of the Eye
contrasts with the warm white
of the continuous light strips
in the Book Mountain, run by
a lighting control system
MVRDV’s project is surrounded by four other
cultural buildings designed by an international team
of architects including Bernard Tschumi Architects
and Bing Thom Architects.
All the buildings in the complex are connected
by a public corridor underneath a glass canopy.
The library’s outer envelope is inserted into the
complex so that the Eye and its surrounding semi-
public area form an internal space. Natural light
enters the column-free space from above and through
the curtain walls. The contours of the shelves continue
along the two full glass facades that connect the
library to the park outside and the public corridor
inside, with each level doubling up as a louvre, to
protect the interior against direct sunlight. The
transverse metal grilles frame the Eye like eyelids.
‘Creating a continuity of feeling from indoors to
outdoors, the metal grille of the facade flows in a
480mm pattern corresponding to the indoor shelves.
This not only avoids direct sunlight on the books, but
also provides more natural lighting for the reading
area, which was a precondition of the green building
design,’ says project director Yin Tian. The library has
Chinese Green Star energy two-star status.
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 access reading areas ▼