The stairs in a viral sensation public library in China run with blood, and its "books" are just sheets of aluminum screened with pictures of spines


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/21/potemkin-instagram.html


#2

Déjà vu: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/06/tour-this-groovy-new-terraced.html


#3

The metaphor is strong.


#4

Oh no! The patrons can’t even reach the fake books?


#5

My favorite book they carry is 血液奶昔鴨!


#6

Ah, good, I much prefer that all my libraries be vicious hellscapes. And really, you wouldn’t want all that dripping blood to get onto the books, would you?


#7

Little Red Stairs.


#8

This is Howard Roark style architecture at its finest. You know the architects hate both the fake books and the real books and the people for cluttering and distracting from the purity and integrity of their design.


#9

“Blood Smoothie Duck”? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that one.


#10

Not in this case, as its an update to the previous story - not a repeat of it.

The library, designed to hold 1.2m books, currently has 200,000 books on regular shelves in normal looking rooms off the photogenic atrium.

Meh - who cares. So they have a nice lobby/atrium area to hang out and the books are fake? Meh. That was a terrible scheme for finding something anyway. The fact the real books are on real shelves and organized normally is good. You can have the real books and the pretty atrium too.

Though - I will repeat my joke from the first time:

The top shelves are where all the banned books are, so they can claim they aren’t banned and are available at the library.


#11

I think there are some strict fire codes for large enclosed spaces like that, in terms of what kind of
flammable things you can have lying around. Although China has a proud tradition of mass book burning.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/world/asia/29iht-letter29.html

In the book, Mr. Bellah notes the parallels between Mao and Qin Shihuangdi, a follower of the Legalist philosophy, which taught that only harsh punishments could keep people in line and provide effective government. The Qin emperor silenced criticism, burned books and buried scholars alive, while Mao, who admired the emperor, once boasted that he had caused the death of more scholars than Qin Shihuangdi.


#12

This is in China, remember.


#13

Bloody Milkshake Duck


#14

It is the antithesis of Roark’s style. Roark would hate the fake books. He would also hate the stylistic but semi-functional stairs. He would hate the fact that the space is built to impress, and not to work. For Roark, form always followed function.


#15

As if Roark would ever design something so disgustingly socialist as a library.


#16

Reckon we need this here:

Also, an example of how this concept can actually sort of work:


#17

Also an excellent point. I guess Roark would however design a building to house a client’s extensive private collection (that he amassed through hard work and sheer force of spirit).


#18

But the white stairs are a health-hazard, their irregular risers and low-contrast color scheme are a tripping hazard, especially when combined with selfie-taking; one guard is employed to yell cautionary messages at visitors on the stairs and describes the blood on the stairs after patrons slip and fall.

I am reminded of this library near me.

http://www.costelloconstruction.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/SSLSlider_03_960x640.jpg

The regular steps end on those broad platforms with two further steps down. Notice the caution tape at the edges of those platforms. Notice the non-matching railing that was added shortly after it opened to channelize people coming down the stairs and reduce the number of people who don’t see those further steps.


#19

Speaking of books.

"The Girl Before" by JP Delaney

From an interview on Dezeen:

Marcus Fairs: The asceticism, obsession and sexual power of the architect character, Edward Monkford, is reminiscent Howard Roark in The Fountainhead. Clearly the literary stereotype of the architect hasn’t moved on much.

JP Delaney: Someone asked me if this was meant to be a book about totalitarianism. It wasn’t meant to be but again it comes back to this idea that architects are obsessive. I know it’s a stereotype that’s not true of all architects, but it is true of minimalists. I think minimalists are a particular breed unto themselves and they can’t be anything other than minimalists. And that’s an interesting space to set a story in.

I haven’t read it but, it’s on a list.


#20

I have seen this library appear in the news, but haven’t read about it until now. I am not at all surprised that the books are fake. Any library with that much useless open space is clearly a sculpture, not a library.