China’s Liyuan Library
Libraries have always been havens for contemplation, but perhaps none more so than the new Liyuan Library in the Chinese village of Huairou (on the outskirts of Beijing), designed by Chinese architects practice Li Xiaodong Atelier.
Featuring staggered, mezzanine levels – which mean that one person’s step is another’s seat – the space also uses traditional materials and architectural processes to cultivate a sense of quiet repose.
The glazed façade of the building is covered in locally foraged sticks, creating a camouflage-like screen that allows small slivers of light to penetrate the peaceful interior (ideal for reading), while all windows frame stunning views of the countryside to further enhance an appreciation of the natural surroundings.
The ceiling is also covered in a traditional lattice of locally sourced wood.