Binhai Cultural Center

Tianjin Binhai Cultural Center

Tianjin’s Economic Development Area does not disappoint when it comes to things to do and places to go. The large, modern area of the city is constantly being built on, with new attractions for locals and expats alike seeming to appear all the time. The newest, and most impressive, addition to the area as of late has been the Binhai Cultural Center, a huge complex consisting of several different parts. These include an enormous and beautiful library, art galleries displaying traditional and contemporary Chinese paintings and sculptures, a museum that documents the history of the Binhai area, and a stage for live theatre and entertainment. It also has the amenities you would expect to find in any popular attraction, with some small shops and eateries available if you plan to spend the day.

Brand new library


            Situated right next to the Wanda Plaza, a popular shopping mall, and in an area with new housing and another mall currently under development, it is easily accessible to those who live in the Binhai area, and makes for a worthwhile day trip. Having just opened in October this year after construction was finished 8 years ago, the library is now teeming with books for people of all ages, and some English literature is also available, and this can be hard to come by in China. Some parts of the center, such as the museum and theatre hall, have not yet been opened to the public, but promise to display an extensive history of the area, and hold regular shows for anyone who wishes to unwind and spend a day marvelling at the great talents that Tianjin has to offer.

Something for the artists.

            Despite also being incomplete, the gallery in the center holds hundreds of pieces of ancient-style and modern paintings from local artists, and it is quite easy to lose track of time while soaking in the beauty of human talent and perseverance. The huge atriums that hold the paintings also include sculptures that represent some important aspects of Chinese culture, and there are more than enough works of art to satisfy even the most critical of art appreciators.

Get lost in the pages of a good book

            The main attraction and most awe-inspiring section of the center, however, is the central library. The centrepiece of the room is a gigantic luminous sphere that brings a modern touch to an otherwise traditional library with cascading bookshelves lining the walls. The library has space for over a million books, and is gradually being filled up from the bottom up. With easily accessible literature for children and the elderly on the bottom shelves, leading up to more academic and non-fictional books towards the top, the library has something for everyone. It also offers reading and study space for local students, as well as computer and audio labs and more private, smaller library sections for those who want some quiet time to work or relax.

Special to all of China

            It is yet to be confirmed when the center will open all of its sections to the public, but even without every part, it is worth a visit just to wallow in the rich and detailed culture Binhai has to offer. While the museum and theatre are still closed to the public, the gallery and library alone can generate enough interest for people to spend the whole day, even if you just want to wander and look around instead of study or read. The center promises to be one of the area’s main attractions when fully opened, and with a library that has been coined ‘the most beautiful library in China’ (The Bund), it is not going too far to say it could be one of the main attractions for the whole of Tianjin.