- Chief Architect:Ting Yu
- Project Manager:Shengrui Pu
- Project Architect:Siqi Yang
- Design Team:Yuchen Guo, Beidi Zhan
- Lighting Consultant:Chloe Zhang
- Client:CIFI Group
- Deepen Design Team:Shanghai C-yu Space Design Co. Ltd.
Er You's backstory. The name of the bookstore and the concept came from the creative happenstance of Mr. Lin Feng of CIFI Group. The bookstore's philosophy that takes books as mountains, poems as books, flowers as decorations, tea as fragrance, and wine as a companion, forms the spirit of the entire bookstore. If “Er You” (in Chinese character) add a dot, it becomes the character “wine”, this is a magical touch to link the concept and life together by Lin Feng, both a book and wine lover.
Little You Mountain. The design therefore became simple and straightforward. When the reader enters the door, he or she will see a white mountain, which is a book-shelf made of white artificial stone. The light comes through the stone wall, and then it looks like a light mountain, which is the Little You Mountain of the Toyou Bookstore. The visible Little You Mountain is the recommended area for new and fine books in the Toyou Bookstore.
Big You Mountain. There is no distinctive visual image of the Big You Mountain in the Toyou Bookstore. Readers need to walk through the bookshelves and partitions to get to the main space of the bookstore, which is actually the interior of the Big You Mountain. The Big You Mountain is invisible because it's too big. As the old saying goes, you can't see the real face of the mountain, but only be thankful to be in the mountain. I abstracted the interconnected caves into the spatial experience we are used to, rather than a realistic simulation. The continuous burgundy perforated aluminum panels forming the caves and the bookshelves forming various corners and spaces to sit in are in fact the interlocking caves in Big You Mountain. It is in this cave that the reader finds the secret book waiting to be uncovered. The typological refinement of the cave helps the architect to use the organization of bookshelves, partitions, commodities, and book arrangements to create a very rich spatial experience in a small space so that there are surprises everywhere and identical views at every step.
Chineseness. "Having a view every step of the way" is actually a basic technique of traditional Chinese garden design. When the readers realize that, they cannot help but associate the experience of the Big and Little You Mountain with the tour of the garden. There are a lot of metaphors that the architect hides in those scenes. The shining white mountain behind the transparent glass outside the store (you open the door and you see the mountain, which means "straightforward"), the well at the side of the Little You Mountain, and the dripping spring (the old saying: the mountain is not about its height, the water is not about its depth), the Chineseness and a hint of Zen which readers would suddenly find out, defines it as a modern Chinese bookstore in the true sense of the word.
The Secret Place. The circular space between the two mountains is the secret place. It is the bookstore owner's private space, like a jug, in which there is heaven and earth, mountains, rocks, pines, books, wine, and himself, a cave in the midst of Shanghai's glitz and glamour.
It took only 40 days to build this entrance. Toyou Bookstore embodies all the difficult training and thinking, and in the end, it all shows incredible ease, which is what Yu-Ting understands as the essence of Chinese aesthetics.