shanghai-based architecture firm wutopia lab has completed yet another bookstore, this time in the scenic area of tianya haijiao, also known as ‘the end of the earth’ in china. the design seeks to generate a positive, pleasant environment that evokes the tranquility and simplicity of the calm ocean. the architects have designed a transparent all-glass exterior, placing bright red bookshelves inside to generate bright pops of color, infused with expressive symbolism.
in the daytime, the bookstore disappears because of the glass reflecting the sea and coconut grove
all images courtesy of creatAR images
wutopia lab (find more here) chose thin and crisp glass for the exterior of the bookstore, in order to create a clean, transparent and building. in the daytime, the bookstore disappears because of the glass reflecting the sea and coconut grove. however, inside, individuals are still able to enjoy sea views with no obstruction. at night, the sea that controlled everything during the day disappears into the night, while the glass of the structure gets lost within the bright light of the bookstore, and the red bookshelves that stand out amid the calm surroundings. the interior space is abstracted into triangles restrained in the glass, striking a delicate balance on the fragile surface.
the internal layout of the bookstore is configured in controlled triangles, symbolizing the cape at the end of the world. the exhibition hall, staircase hall, retail tables, café bar, custom-made book tables, and seats form right angles of different sizes are shaped in triangular forms, pointing towards the sea, while expressing the richness and sharpness of human thoughts and feelings.
in the center of the bookstore, an elevated lecture hall stage takes the most prominent position within the interior, inviting visitors to step on it and gaze at the floors underneath it. forming the sharpest corner in the project, the volume looks as if touches the façade but never actually reaches it. ‘you stand on the stage and look at the scenery and becoming a scenery,’ says the wutopia lab. ‘in that brief moment on the stage, you are the protagonist of the landscape, and hopefully you are also the protagonist of life’.
in order to ensure the permeability of the glass box, the architects asked the structural consultant not to set up structural columns as usual, or set up columns behind the curtain wall. in short, the team didn’t want to see any columns in the bookstore, in order to generate a seamless transparent construction with no interruptions.
the roof of the bookstore is formed as a very gentle four-slope roof. the facility engineer used this sloped roof ceiling space to conceal the fire protection, air conditioning, and fresh air units and ducts. the drain pipes were also concealed in conjunction with the bookshelves. this ensures that the second-floor space in the bookstore and the space above the building are visually separated, forming a separate ‘house within the house’ structure. overall, the continuous glass box is guaranteed to be pure and clean.
according to the designers, the symmetrical gradient red bookshelves symbolize the blazing fire of ideals inside people. ‘the staircase is hidden inside this fire, you pick up the steps, and the daylight falls on your head through the triangular skylight, silently watching your rising desire and ambition,’ the team explains. what started out as a design ended up as a practical prophecy, (…) designed in the midst of an epidemic (…), and we all know the significance of understanding the difficulty of it and the optimism of overcoming it.’
name: tianya books: bookstore at the end of the earth
architects: wutopia lab
chief architect: yu ting
project architect: sun liran
design team: kuang zhou, pan dali, chen ruoyue (intern), zhang naiyue (intern), xiong jiaxing (intern)
document development: shanghai zhumeng architectural design co.
development team: wang liyang, jiang qiqing, ge yong, lu tao, li xiangyun, xu fangting
structural consultant: miao binhai
lighting consultant: zhang chloe
construction team: hainan jianpinzhujing engineering co.
project manager: wei wei
location: tianya haijiao, sanya
area: 478 sqm
photography: creatAR images
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom
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