Image: Li Xiaodong Atelier
The first time I saw pictures of this building near Beijing, China, it literally took my breath away. It is actually a library which was designed to blend into the landscape through the choice of materials and placement of the building on site. The exterior is clad in wooden sticks, a feature which has local connotations as in many of the surrounding villages, sticks are gathered year round and piled up against the houses for use in stoves and fires. 

The architects have used this commonplace material in an extraordinary way. While it is not obvious from the photographs, the building is fully glazed to protect the contents and provide the optimal environment, however the use of the wooden sticks helps to camouflage the building and allows light to diffuse beautifully throughout the space creating a wonderful ambiance. 

See more pictures of the Liyuan Library after the jump.

Images: Li Xiaodong Atelier