16. Liyuan Library, China
For all of the beauty offered by the ornate, over-the-top libraries, it’s hard not to love the quiet little sisters of the group. Case in point: the Liyuan Library located in the small village of Huairou two hours north of Beijing. Designed by Li Xiaodong, the glass exterior shell is clad with locally sourced sticks to better blend with the nature that surrounds it; inside, stepped cases, seats and platforms house books and provide areas for quiet contemplation.