China's New Tianjin Binhai Library is Breathtaking—and Full of Fake Books

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A massive new library in Tianjin, China, is gaining international fame among bibliophiles and design buffs alike. As Arch Daily reports, the five-story Tianjin Binhai Library has capacity for more than 1 million books, which visitors can read in a spiraling, modernist auditorium with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Several years ago, municipal officials in Tianjin commissioned a team of Dutch and Japanese architects to design five new buildings, including the library, for a cultural center in the city’s Binhai district. A glass-covered public corridor connects these structures, but the Tianjin Binhai Library is still striking enough to stand out on its own.

The library’s main atrium could be compared to that of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum in New York City. But there's a catch: Its swirling bookshelves don’t actually hold thousands of books. Look closer, and you’ll notice that the shelves are printed with digital book images. About 200,000 real books are available in other rooms of the library, but the jaw-dropping main room is primarily intended for socialization and reading, according to Mashable.

The “shelves”—some of which can also serve as steps or seating—ascend upward, curving around a giant mirrored sphere. Together, these elements resemble a giant eye, prompting visitors to nickname the attraction “The Eye of Binhai,” reports Newsweek. In addition to its dramatic main auditorium, the 36,000-square-foot library also contains reading rooms, lounge areas, offices, and meeting spaces, and has two rooftop patios.

Following a three-year construction period, the Tianjin Binhai Library opened on October 1, 2017. Want to visit, but can’t afford a trip to China? Take a virtual tour by checking out the photos below.

A general view of the Tianjin Binhai Library
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

People visiting China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A general view of China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A woman taking pictures at China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A man visiting China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A woman looking at books at China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A general view of China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

People visiting China's Tianjin Binhai Library.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

[h/t Newsweek]

C Is for Comfort: Bombas Just Launched a Sesame Street Sock Line

Bombas
Bombas

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you think about the Muppets? You can now wear it on your feet. Bombas just released a limited-edition line of socks inspired by the likes of Elmo, Cookie Monster, and other beloved Sesame Street characters.

Pairs of 'Sesame Street'-inspired socks arrayed on the floor
Bombas

The new Bombas x Sesame Street sock designs are subtle nods to your favorite children’s programming. They don’t feature garish patterns; instead, they rely on minimalist interpretations of characters like Oscar the Grouch, the Count, and Bert and Ernie.

Two pairs of legs wearing Bert and Grover socks
Bombas

The Oscar socks feature a gray, green, and brown-striped pattern, while the yellow Bert socks feature a multi-colored stripe that evokes his signature shirt. The blue Grover socks have a pink circle and red stripe that look like his nose and mouth. The Elmo socks are the only ones that feature eyes, while the Cookie Monster socks feature a single chocolate chip cookie.

A pair of legs wearing Cookie Monster socks
Bombas

A man's legs showing off red Elmo socks
Bombas

In fact, if anyone sees these peeking out of your pants, it’s unlikely they’ll realize they’re Muppet-inspired, so feel free to wear them even to your fanciest events and meetings.

The socks go for $14 a pair for adults, $8 a pair for kids. Toddler socks go for $30 per pack of four. Get yourself a pair (or several) here.

This Modular Bike Goes From Stroller to Trike to Two-Wheeler as Your Child Grows

Monkeycycle, Kickstarter
Monkeycycle, Kickstarter

When kids outgrow their bikes, most parents settle for buying an entirely new model and leaving the old one to collect dust in the garage. The Monkeycycle, a new eight-in-one bike design available on Kickstarter, works differently. After buying the kit, parents can reconfigure and build upon the bike over the years so it changes at the same rate their child does, following them from 9 months old to 6 years old.

The first model in the Monkeycycle's evolution is a stroller that includes an adjustable handle and child seat that can be removed and attached to an adult-sized bike. When children reach 12 to 14 months old, parents can convert the stroller to a tricycle. As kids get taller, the bike can grow, too. The body of the trike curves to provide a low seat when placed one way and a taller seat when flipped over.

Two girls on bikes outdoors
Monkeycycle, Kickstarter

From there, the trike easily switches to a balance bike. Parents can also arrange the wheels to make a quad and a "tadpole trike" with two wheels in front and one in back. Then, once kids are ready to start controlling a two-wheeler on their own, the Monkeycycle can be transformed into a traditional pedal bike.

To get a full Monkeycycle kit, you can pledge $349 or more to the project's Kickstarter campaign before December 13. Monkeycycle is also offering a limited number of basic kits, which only include the balance bike and two-wheeler modules, starting from $200. The stroller option is not included in any of the kits yet, but if the campaign reaches its stretch goal of $150,000, it will be available as an add-on for $150.

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