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Feeling Sheltered At The Cloudscape Library By MAD Architects

The idea of seeking and finding shelter (a term we currently use in our 2023 trend reports) has exponentially grown during the pandemic. The Cloudscape Library by MAD Architects is located on the coast of Haikou Bay, in the interior of Hainan Province in China and the viewer can’t help but observe a reminiscence to a cave-like structure.

The uniqueness of this multifunctional building is reflected in a series of dynamic curves, where visitors can immerse themselves in their favorite activity while enjoying idyllic views.

The library is part of a larger project initiated by the local government last year to improve the use of public space along Haikou Bay. As part of this rejuvenation plan, a series of constructions by both national and international architects have been organized, and the Cloudscape building was the first to be completed.

According to the architectural firm’s statements, the curved structure is envisioned to “transcend time and space”, seeking to give life to a serene environment dedicated especially to reading enthusiasts and curious travelers. The library will house 10.000 books.

The structure, made of white concrete, is conceived as a unit where the walls intertwine with the ceiling and floor, while openings of different sizes allow the architecture to breathe and, at the same time, natural light to flood every nook. Although there are also some shaded spaces for passers-by who want to stop and rest.

Entitled by many the Wormhole Library,


To modern astrophysicists, a wormhole isn’t a tunnel wrought by a slimy invertebrate, but a theoretical tunnel between two black holes or other points in space-time, providing a shortcut between its end points. Translated into the library, we could say, we see a space that provides a space of seeking shelter and refuge in books with wandering through curved hallways of light and shadows loosing track of time.


Beginning a new book is often a moment that readers cherish: a venture into the surreal or unknown, and a gentle removal from everyday reality. The visiting experience of the Cloudscape is similar. The architecture enables people to approach the building removed from our familiar urban reality, and begin a new journey transcending time and space. The complexity of the cave-shaped form deconstructs the space layer by layer, offering readers a weightless field to be inhabited by their imagination.

– MAD Architects


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