In South China, a glazed library overlooks the sea

Wutopia Lab designed Tianya Books, a permeable volume in relation to the landscape: triangles, floating volumes and transparencies define the space organised on two levels. 

Located in Tianya Haijiao, the part of southern China once imagined as the end of the earth and now a popular tourist attraction, Tianya Books observes the sea acting as a meeting point between man and nature. This relationship is governed by glass, which covers the structure, reflecting the surface of water during the day and revealing the red shelves of interior at night, like the “morning glow that illuminates the entire beach”.

Tianya Books
Wutopia Lab, Tianya Books. Photo CreatAR Images

The project, designed by Wutopia Lab, initially consisted of a simple glass parallelepiped, from which a triangle was later cut on the short west side to preserve a banyan tree. 

Tianya Books
Wutopia Lab, Tianya Books. Photo CreatAR Images

Organised on two levels, the building houses a bookshop, a café and reading areas on the ground floor, while the first floor hosts reading areas for children and a small auditorium, which appears as a floating, transparent volume detached from the facade and located about 6 metres from the ground. 

Overlooking the sea, this space has a platform at its end from which to observe the landscape and immerse oneself in nature. 

Tianya Books
Wutopia Lab, Tianya Books. Photo CreatAR Images

Tianya Books is a permeable building in constant relation to the landscape: this is why the load-bearing columns are not visible but hidden in the shelves.

The space is organised in triangles, which define the centre of the bookstore, staircase and shelves layout, as well as tables, chairs and cafè. The geometric shape has been chosen to symbolise the territory in which the bookstore is located, the southernmost tip of China. The red furniture, on the other hand, represents “the blazing fire of ideals”. 

Tianya Books
Tianya Haijiao, Sanya, China
Bookstore, cafè, auditorium
Wutopia Lab
Chief architect:
YU Ting
Project architect:
SUN Liran
Design team:
KUANG Zhou, PAN Dali , CHEN Ruoyue (Intern), ZHANG Naiyue (Intern), XIONG Jiaxing (Intern)
Document development:
Shanghai Zhumeng Architectural Design Co.
Development team:
WANG Liyang, JIANG Qiqing, GE Yong, LU Tao, LI Xiangyun, XU Fangting
Structural consultant:
MIAO Binhai
Lighting consultant:
Construction team:
Hainan Jianpinzhujing Engineering Co
Project manager:
Sanya Tianya Haijiao Tourism Development Co.
478 sqm

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