3. Shanghai Library East, Shanghai, China
Scholar’s rocks – or Taihu stones – were prized by the intelligentsia of China’s Jin dynasty, who found inspiration in their edges, curves and hollows. The design of Shanghai’s new library, which opened earlier this year, takes inspiration from these rocks in its monolithic printed marble and glass exterior. As China’s biggest library, and the second largest in the world, it aims to host more than 1,200 events – and welcome some four million visitors – every year. Containing 4.8m books, a theatre, an exhibition space and a children’s library within its vast 115,000m2, it’s an impressive centre of knowledge and creativity for the people of Shanghai.
Main image: City of Parramatta