Magazine article ASEE Prism

Behold the Eye

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Behold the Eye

Article excerpt

It may never rival the Great Wall, but China's new Tianjin Binhai Library already has drawn raves for its inspiring design while inviting parallels as a repository of relics: books. An "ocean" of them, gushed CCTV, the state-run network. The five-story "Eye of Binhai," which opened October 1 in the city of Tianjin some 75 miles southeast of central Beijing, features a luminous spherical auditorium at the center of a soaring atrium. Cascading shelves that can hold up to 1.2 million volumes sweep from floor to ceiling, giving the 36,000-square-foot space an eyeball-like quality-hence the nickname. The library, which local media call a "sea of knowledge," is one of five buildings commissioned by the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute to form a new culture center. …

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