Tour this groovy new terraced Chinese library

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That’s fine as a piece of art, but I hope I never have to use a library like that.


It’s not usable, in any normal sense.


A lot of those shelves seem to be purely decorative? In that they are not at all reachable?

Behind the funky curved walls of the atrium that the video focused on, I suspect you’ll find a whole lot of traditionally constructed stacks.


It’s stickers… they made fake books to decorate…

A bit kitsch if you ask me.

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Fixed that for you :slight_smile:


Nah - those books are all real. The top shelves just have all the banned books so they can say, “Technically, they aren’t banned, look, they are in the library.”


Looks to me like the message is “Here in most beautiful library are lots of books just out of reach”


So how do you get the books to, y’know, read them? Wizardry? Telekinesis? Flying robots? The Force™? There’s stairs to about halfway and then they sort of… end?

It’s sights like these that make me wonder what precisely goes on in the heads of architects.





Might there be a hallway or other access on the other side?


This is about as frustrating as fake Japanese display food.


Wild cocaine parties. Also Bourgeoisie. Lots of that.

Not one book in there about the Tianamen Square Massacre guaranteed.


Others are at foot level, just right for slowly destroying books by accident.

There’s more info on this here:

"Fast-tracking the process caused a few design headaches. The upper shelves directly above the atrium are currently unreachable, after planned access rooms were dropped – a decision MVRDV said was taken by the local team against their advice. As a result, these shelves are covered in perforated aluminium plates that printed to look like books. They are cleaned using a system of moveable scaffolding and ropes.

The firm said they hoped that their “full vision for the library may be realised in the future”.

High shelves? Easy. When called for, everyone in the library must form a compulsory human pyramid – for the common good.

Visually stunning. But a practical nightmare.

“Form Follows Function” fully forgotten?

As originally intended by Dr Seuss, visitors are issued a telescoping poles equipped with a grabber which they use to access the books on shelves near the ceiling as they ride their unicycles.

Haven’t you heard? Modern people don’t read books in libraries. (Modern people hardly read at all for that matter.) The reasons why they’d go to a library are as follows:

  • To eat their lunch (while pretending, if needed, not to be eating)
  • For well lit and nice looking (and ‘smart’) selfie backdrops.
  • For the free A/C
  • For the free WiFi
  • To let their kids romp around freely and safely (and without having to clean anything up)
  • For various social gatherings agreed upon on FB, or insta, whatsapp, what’sev. (which is fine I suppose)