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A unique library located in the Tengger Desert in China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region opened on June 8, 2022. Designed to hold about 40,000 books, the three-storey structure was built using rusty iron sheets on its exterior to keep out extreme desert heat. Despite average outdoor temperatures that soar to over 30 degrees Celsius (86°F), conditions inside the library are considerably cooler. Tall ceilings, flanked with strips of wood and anchored by planes of steel, allow in air and sunlight. The library’s double canopy prevents direct sunlight from entering and moderates the heat before it can reach inside. It was built to cater to a growing number of desert tourists in the area, offering visitors a place to rest, read and shelter from the summer heat.

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