The spectacular mountain setting just outside the village of Jiaojiehe was chosen for its ability to inspire contemplation. The library’s construction materials are 99% recyclable, and the design is deliberately modest, not seeking to compete with the surrounding natural beauty. Having observed piles of twigs stacked outside villagers’ houses to fuel their cooking stoves, the architect decided to use this ordinary material in an extraordinary way, to clad the building’s steel-framed glass facades and roof. The twigs act as a diffusing filter for natural light, providing perfect reading conditions. Wood dominates the interior, where split levels form distinct spaces, and select views of the landscape are revealed by gaps in the cladding.