Space 4 Architecture's (S4A) proposal for a bookstore in Chengdu, China reflects the poetic beauty of floating lilies on water. The architects describe the project as a “permeable cultural container” that allows and encourages visitor interaction with the surrounding landscape. The design consists of a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that weave together a gentle intervention that mirrors and enhances the natural scenery it sits within.
The architects were heavily inspired by the context of the site: "the ephemeral footprint created by raindrops on water" and the circular forms of lily pads. The circular forms of the design create a continuous relationship between land and water, allowing the visitor to engage and fully experience its position in the middle of the lake. These interconnected circles have reflected roofs, which act to eliminate boundaries between water, sky, and land, strengthening the connection with the surroundings.
The floating disks include both indoor bookstore space, as well as outdoor spaces for contemplation. The first platform holds the lobby, which then leads to the bookstore and café. The auditorium and gallery are located in the second structure, which connects with the bookstore underground. Extending from this is a narrow walkway that leads to the center of the lake, a space that invites contemplation and silence. This destination space allows an immersive experience as the visitor stands, exposed, in the center of the lake.
The circular platforms would have prefabricated sections for time-efficient construction and cost control. The design also allows for easy expansion with new volumes able to be added in a variety of configurations.
News via: Space 4 Architecture