- Design Director:Zen Zheng
- Chief Designer:Yongcheng Liu
- Design Team:Dehua Wu, Futong Liu, Ruirun Hu, Penghui Yang
- Installation Design:Leshi Gong, Zixi Huang
- Space Guidance Design:Qilin Huang
- Project Manager:Tianwei Luo
Reconstruct the space through architectural transformation, and enable every corner to tell the brand's story
The project is a bookstore that occupies a pivotal position within Si Hai Cheng Plaza, Panyu District, Guangzhou. Connected to a sunken square at the front and backed by apartment buildings, it enjoys a tranquil environment in a lively neighborhood. In the post-pandemic era, its community-based location has a huge advantage. The original building was the supporting facility of a terrace racecourse. It was a two-storey structure which spanned more than 40 meters. The interior space had a low ceiling and irregular structures, making it difficult to serve commercial purposes. For this reason, Leaping Creative team worked out a series of strategies to improve the spatial pattern.
Remove floor slabs, adjust the position of staircase, and create comfortable reading experiences via an open space
The lowest beam of the original building was only 2.3 meters high, which caused an oppressive feeling and were not conducive for customers to stay long in the space. To conceive a bookstore, the low ceiling was the first problem that needed solving. The design team chose to remove a few floor slabs, to obtain a hollow double-height space and insert a small terraced theater into it. The theater area faces a glass curtain wall, which makes the cramped space appear more open and expansive. Moreover, the glass strengthens the interaction between interior and outside, and allows customers to enjoy reading while at the same time feeling the changes of light throughout the day.
Exposed concrete columns were preserved to support the new space. Neither being concealed nor accentuated, they set the tone for the plain and natural textures of the space. A new staircase was built next to the theater area, which are parallel yet not interfere with each other. The width of stairs was increased, in order to create a comfortable scale and pleasant walking experiences for customers. The elegant color palette and low-profile lighting generate a calming, peaceful atmosphere for readers, and also function as a hint of mentality shift.
Connect children's book area and adult area via the time tunnel, and incorporate immersive art installations into it to create fun, surreal scenes
After structural transformation, a long narrow passage was formed behind the stepped theater, with children's area and lifestyle book area at its two ends. The passage can attract kids to pass through, and prevent them from running around and affecting activities at the theater area. By incorporating immersive art installations, the designers subtly turn this "tricky space" into a striking "time tunnel". It presents playful lighting effects and dreamy scenes to both parents and kids, hence becoming a bonus area within the space.
Images on two sides of the passage are presented on lenticular sheets, which show different stories as people walking towards distinct directions. Passing from Children's area to adult area, they can see a child flying a paper plane and dreaming of becoming an astronaut as growing up; while moving to the opposite side, the story is about past memories and a dream about returning to childhood. The metaphor of "time tunnel" may also be included in books, through which kids start the journey of exploring the world whilst adults reflect on the past and try to find the original intention.
Combine various operations to provide multiple options for community life throughout the day and night
In the social media age, more and more bookstores have become backdrops for taking photos and sharing on the internet. As a community-oriented bookstore, Tangning Books aims to provide a space that is adaptable to various reader groups and reading scenes. In the original design scheme, the side entrance of 2F leads to bar, book area and tea drink area orderly. In spite of the alternation of day and night, readers can obtain diverse cultural experiences in the parallel spaces.
Diverse reading areas cater for different states of reading
The lifestyle book area near the bookstore entrance displays magazines, best-selling books and lifestyle products. It provides those who've just entered the store with book options that are most relevant to daily life. Small furniture in children's area can be flexibly combined, which enables kids to give full play to their imagination. Books and seats are within easy reach, hence encouraging them to be spontaneously immersed in reading.
Art book area on 2F provides an open view and a tranquil environment for sitting down to enjoy reading. As sunlight penetrates window grilles and cast onto bookshelves, the interweaving lines enhance the playfulness and sense of layering of the space. This area combines bookshelves and stands, which allow readers to freely wander around and explore the space. They can either hide between lofty bookshelves and meditate, or walk to the open area to communicate with others.
Dynamic yet static theater offers a space for cultural exchange between the bookstore and readers
The theater area carries the socializing attribute of the bookstore. As night falls, a series of public activities such as cultural salons, talk shows and film screenings are hosted here, which offers diversified and valuable cultural experiences to residents in the neighborhood. The expansive space breaks down the barrier between speakers and audience, turning it into a venue for close encounters with knowledge.
Art toys, tea drinks and bar help reach more people beyond the neighborhood and extend the service time
Apart from book areas, the bookstore also brings in art toys and tea drinks, to enrich and continuously renew its operations. In this way, it not only satisfies the demands of young residents in the community, but also provides more new lifestyle options for a wider spectrum of consumers in the city.