The project is located in a well-known street in Beijing called Liulichang, which originally was a book store and selling Chinese painting, calligraphy publications, and ancient books. This book store was a pseudo-classic architecture, and was built in the 80s century by the government unified construction. The book store was a two story building with a basement. The total construction area is about 300 square meters. In today’s information era, the single mode of previous bookstores cannot attract readers any more. How to upgrade traditional bookstores is a problem that each bookstore operator thinks about. Rongbaozhai (studio of glorious treasures) coffee bookstore is trying to mix bookstore with coffee house and attract more readers with its compound management model and diversified experiences. Accompanied by a cup of fragrant coffee, people communicate with others, books and nature, creating a relaxing and comfortable reading environment with slow rhythm.
In order to change the heavy and rigid images of traditional bookstores, new designs use transparent and lightsome iron book shelves to integrate functions, transportation, equipment and illumination and put green plants in the stores to make their internal space more continuous and open as well as full of vitality. Based on the original pole net of the building, the inside turns out to be a ring-like space structure: the central district is island-style space surrounded by iron bookshelf walls. The central island on the first floor is used as cashier desk and coffee operating table; the second floor is the meeting room-a shiny box enclosed by switchable glass. The switchable glass can modify internal and external transparent state to make the meeting room more flexible for use. With soft membrane ceiling, the center island has a homogeneous integral illumination, which is just like indoor lanterns, and the coffee booths are interspersed around the center island.
The iron bookshelves use 1cm*1cm solid iron bars as vertical supports, and 1cm*30cm iron plates as layer boards. They are completed by use of laser incision to cut incisions of stand columns in each layer, which are then welded from bottom to top. Plants between the iron bookshelves can make readers sense the nature, meanwhile they can effectively adjust indoor microclimate. LED light strips are installed at the bottom of the plant boxes, which can provide readers with indirect illumination. Sciophilous ferns are the primary choice of indoor plants and the high plant boxes are furnished with climbing shrubs. Herbs such as mint and pelargonium odoratissimum are placed in front of the windows and on the coffee tables. The coffee bookstore will become a new leisure place for people after shopping in the Azure Stone Workshop. Sitting peacefully therein, people are coexisting with the coffee, books and plants. The indoor space has been weakened into an environment background where people’s experience and feelings are motivated.
For + info & work, please visit the architect’s website here.
Words + Images from Archstudio.