Old boiler building starts new chapter as Yungang Library

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2021-11-19


The exterior of the Yungang Library looks fresh and appealing. [Photo/Yellow River News]

An old and abandoned boiler building in Yungang district of Datong city – located in North China's Shanxi province – recently began a new chapter in its life when it was transformed and repurposed for use as a public library.

The reconstruction project is said to highlight Yungang district's concept of practicing environmental protection, saving energy, reducing emissions and waste utilization.


An inside view of the library shows how it has been transformed from an abandoned boiler building. [Photo/Yellow River News]

Through a creative and resourceful design, the new Yungang Library retains the original industrial building's imprint, architectural features and sense of the past, and combines it with fresh style and a cultural ambience. 

The original coal storehouse has been turned into a bookstore, the coal-burning stoves have been refitted and now serve as a coffee bar, while another area has been reconfigured as a reading area. The bookshelves, railings, stairs and decorations in the library have been mostly transformed from discarded metal machinery.


A mom and her daughter check out a book in the Yungang Library, on Nov 14. [Photo/Yellow River News]

The new library currently holds more than 30,000 paper books, periodicals and newspapers. They cover a whole gamut of fields including history, cultural relics, archaeology and museology.

It is also the library with the largest collection of books about the Yungang Grottoes – a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site in Datong – and has formed a document collection and service system for the research demands of the Yungang Research Institute.


A distinctive and elevated reading area in the repurposed building is comfortable and inviting. [Photo/Yellow River News]

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