Zhujiang New Town and the Guangzhou Library

It is empowering and liberating to know how to get yourself around a new city. With this newfound knowledge, the kids and I easily found our way to the Guangzhou Zoo yesterday (see Isabella’s post) and the Guangzhou Library today.

The Guangzhou Library is located in an area called Zhujiang New Town (ZNT) in the Tianhe District, which is across the Pearl River from our district of Haizhu. ZNT is a fairly new area as development began in the 1990s but did not take off until Guangzhou was chosen to host the 2010 Asian Games. At its centre is a plaza anchored by the Guangzhou Opera House, the Guangdong Museum, the Children’s Palace and the Guangzhou Library. It certainly has a different flavour than our older, tree lined neighbourhood across the river.

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Street scene in Zhujiang New Town

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Guangzhou Opera House or possibly a spaceship has landed in Guangzhou.

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Group of buildings seen from the square. Children’s Palace in the foreground. Tall building on the right is the impressive Four Seasons Hotel.

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View of Canton Tower and the smog from the square. The red flower heart is in celebration of the week long Chinese National holiday of which today is Day 1.

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That’s not the Borg Cube on the right. It’s the Guangdong Museum.

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View of buildings from the square. And no it’s not a foggy day.

Of the four cultural building anchors, I think the Guangzhou Library is the most beautiful and impressive. It certainly is one of the largest and most spectacular libraries that I have visited. Eight floors, 3.38 million books and beautiful architecture with well thought out spaces. Our intention of spending a couple of hours there turned into almost a whole day. Can’t think of a better way to spend a sweltering smoggy day. Now that we are the proud owners of shiny new library cards I’m sure we will be spending many more such days there.

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The magnificent Guangzhou Library

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Front of library atrium

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Decor in children’s library

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The children’s library on a Chinese holiday

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A cafeteria in the basement of the library. And if you want to bring your own lunch, there are even two microwaves for your use.

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Courtyard seating for the cafeteria. We opted to stay indoors to avoid the heat and the poor air quality.

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Just need a pick me up? There’s even a coffee and snack bar.

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Glass elevators. Glass bridges. All the use of glass lent the library an airy feeling.

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