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The First Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an, China by Wutopia Lab Performs a White Divine Comedy
China Architecture News - Jul 20, 2018 - 02:45 12206 views
Shanghai-based architecture company Wutopia Lab recently finished another Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an, one of the most ancient cities in China which used to be the capital for thirteen dynasties. The whitest bookstore is filled with various kinds of ancient souls of various temperatures with pure thoughts, memories, and hopes.
Through vivid imaginations and dramatic artistic expressions, the bookstore pays the tribute and performs a white Divine Comedy, which is used by the firm to reference the idea of paradise.
Instead of adopting a direct entry, Wutopia Lab created a glittering entrance in the commercial space on the fourth floor; this required to make free of the floor slab of fifth floor into the main area of the bookstore without destroying the main structure.
They built a pillarless white curvy staircase, highlighted by a spiral white panel, surrounded by custom-made white acrylic walls. Therefore, when heading up the stairs step by step, the readers are encouraged by the spirit of knowledge and curiosity displayed through the books around them to enter the bookstore over the clouds.
The corners of the public reading area are fully used through ten curved levels. The firm introduced a brand new experience to the Zhongshu bookstore, in which the book recommendation area of the white bookstore is to suspend the triangular steel plate with a slender screw, so that the books displayed above seem to float in the air.
"The basic space of the bookstore consists of popular book recommendation areas and public reading areas. We decided to make a reading paradise over the “clouds”, and it should have a light and streamlined free space, but in order to follow the restrictions of fire codes, we had to challenge the traditional types and materials of the bookshelf. For the first time, we used 5mm thick steel plates to customize curved bookshelves," the firm explained.
"After precise structural calculations, the steel frame that is hidden behind the foundation is used as the support of the structure. The over 3,000 meters long steel plated bookshelf floats in the air as a cantilevered structure. Digital concepts and technologies are used in order to realize such a soft and free space: each piece of steel plate has been optimized through programming, processed by CNC machine tools, and then assembled on site according to the numbering."
Wutopia Lab introduced that "there is a pantheon in central of the public reading area. In the center of the floor structural beams stands an exquisite displaying rack for Zhongshu's 'Book of the Month' selection, and can only be held by one person at a time. The floor slab here was replaced with a glass floor in order to mimic an illusion of water surface. The space underneath it holds a room for reading meeting or a mini conference. This invisible academy and the visible pantheon together form the center of Zhongshu Bookstore — an oasis where the mind and soul can be rejuvenated and set free."
"Zhongshu Bookstore's children's library is a crystal structure hidden in the forest. It was inspired by the trees and animal silhouettes of the nine-colored deer to protect the children’s Wonderland. Kids will find their own hidden entrances, a hidden world of playful tricks and caves, and have the skylines of the architecture, blue skies and starry nights. This is a world for children," the firm added.
It is said that this bookstore has used 300 tons of steel and 30,000 meters of light strips, and has taken 600 days. As a result, it becomes the whitest bookstore that is filled with various kinds of ancient souls of various temperatures with pure thoughts, memories, and hopes.
The Chief Architect, YU Ting hoped that his architectural practices can ransform reality into a “magic reality” and create an illusion that uncovers bits of truths in our life. He also said that, "miracle, raising from ordinary life, is believed to be both a magnification and a fated outcome of ordinary life — the stories of which can be colored and told in an extraordinary fashion. Zhongshu Bookstore pays the tribute and performs a white Divine Comedy to the capital of thirteen dynasties — Xi’an."
Fourth Floor Plan
Fifth Floor Plan
Design Firm: Wutopia Lab
Chief Architect: YU Ting
Project Architect: Chen LIN
Design Team: Jie LV, Jianming ZHU, Mingcheng DU, Liyuan LU
Design Consultant: TOPOS DESIGN CLANS
Lighting Design: Zilu WANG
Construction Team: Shaanxi FuLei Decoration Design Engineering Co., Ltd.
Clients: Shanghai Zhongshu Industrial Co., Ltd., Xi'an China Movie Times International Studios
Project Area: 1886 sqm
Project Location: Xi’an, Shanxi, China
Design Period: 2016.09 to 2017.06
Construction Period: 2017.07 to 2018.05
All Images © CreatAR Images
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