New cultural buildings open in capital’s sub-city center

The Grand Canal Museum of Beijing in the capital”s sub-city center Tongzhou opens to the public on Wednesday. [Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

Library, museum, theaters added to Tongzhou’s public recreation facilities

A library, museum and art center were opened to the public on Wednesday afternoon in Beijing’s sub-city center Tongzhou, which will cater to residents’ recreational interests.

Construction of the three facilities — the Beijing Performing Arts Center, Beijing Library and the Grand Canal Museum of Beijing — began in October 2019.

Yin Yong, mayor of Beijing, said at the opening ceremony that the facilities will allow people to enjoy the best cultural products and services, and promote the public sharing of fine arts.

At the service counter near the north gate of Beijing Library, readers can engage in conversations with an artificial intelligence-powered robot librarian named Tuyueyue, the first AI-bot used in a Chinese library that can answer visitors’ queries, according to the library.

“The library is equipped with four robots capable of facilitating the borrowing and returning books, answering inquiries, guiding tours and disinfecting the library’s infrastructure,” said Xie Peng, deputy operator of Beijing Library.

The robots cruise around the library and offer timely assistance. According to Xie, they also can facilitate reservations for seats and events, offering readers a well-rounded service.

Besides incorporating AI technology, Beijing Library has installed world-class ultrahigh glass curtain walls with a height of 16 meters. It has China’s largest automated storage and retrieval system, covering about 3,000 square meters, according to the library.

The Beijing Performing Arts Center echoes a fusion of modern aesthetics with traditional Chinese architectural elements. Referred to as a “cultural granary”, it is inspired by ancient grain silos and ship transportation in Tongzhou district.

With a construction area of 125,000 sq m, the center has four

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