Iran claims it’s now home to the world’s biggest book store – a colossal 700,000 sq ft complex that’s packed to the rafters with tomes.
The Book Garden threw open its doors last month in Tehran’s Abbasabad Hills, and from above it looks like a grassy knoll thanks to its green roof. Design Core Architects is said to have created the project, which is vying for the official title the ‘world’s largest’, previously held by Barnes and Noble. Its New York outpost on Fifth Avenue covers 154,250 sq ft and has 12.87 miles of book shelves.
‘The opening of the Book Garden is a big cultural event in the country, so that our children can make better use of this cultural and academic opportunity,’ said Tehran’s Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
It’s been a long road for The Book Garden, which was first mooted in 2004 and was finally built last year. Around 400,000 titles are available to children alone inside the gargantuan store, which also includes movie theatres, exhibition space, an art gallery, restaurant, prayer rooms and reading nooks. Its green roof also doubles as an outdoor reading area.
Iran is notorious for censoring literature – Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is just one title that fell foul of censors – though Newsweek reports policies have been relaxed slightly under President Hassan Rouhani.
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