Because you can always use another gorgeous library to imagine yourself inside: MAD Architects has built a seaside library in Haikou, China that eschews blocky, familiar design in favor of flowing forms mimicking the clouds and sea that surround it. Essentially, it’s a cloudlike paradise on the water—are you sold yet?
The building, made of concrete, has a liquid feel: the sloping, natural-looking walls resemble a cave. Openings in the building let in natural light and allow readers to observe the sky and sea outside, and holes in the children’s reading area let children play and explore. According to MAD Architects, the unconventional design allows you to step out of your everyday spatial and temporal routine—much like the transportive experience of picking up a new book.
Best of all, as of last month, it’s completely open for public use. But if you can’t make it to Haikou for a visit, let these photos tide you over. Or cloud you over. Ha ha.
As more and more people get vaccinated, I’m both excited for indoor spaces to open back up and grateful for the public outdoor spaces that made this year much more joyful—so I’m obviously obsessed with this forest library that strikes a balance between indoor and outdoor.
“Scholar’s Library,” designed by New York design firm GLUCK+ and hidden in the Catskill Mountains, has two floors: the first floor is solid, enclosed to protect the books inside, and the second floor dissolves into the natural landscape. The library’s sliding glass doors can act as full-length windows, or they can be opened to let readers connect with the forest around them.
Imagine working on your project, with Scholar’s Library all to yourself . . .