Fudan Jingshi Bookstore

Shanghai / 2020

31 Love 813 Visits Published

Architectural/Indoor/Landscape Design: SHUISHI - Micron Architecture Office
Lead Architects: XIE Yuan, XU Jinwei
Team Members: PANG Songyun, ZHANG Yun, HUANG Tingting, DENG Jin

Construction design: SHUISHI Engineering
Team Members: LI Bin, XU Yu, LI Yuqin, ZHENG Yao, YIN Jin

Photo credits: ZY Architectural Photography

Lighting Design: Shanghai Chuluo Creative Design Office
Construction Organization: Hangzhou Suge Construction Technology Co., LTD


Origin and Site Selection
Shanghai Fudan Jingshi Bookstore was established in 1993 and is affiliated to Fudan University Press. It is the only state-owned comprehensive bookstore with a large scale in the area of Fudan. Due to the adjustment of the university's overall planning, Jingshi Bookstore moved from the old site (No. 579 Guoquan Road) last year and chose to “settle down”again at No. 286 Guonian Road.

To the north of the new site is the Liberal Arts Library of Fudan University; to the west are the Fifth and Sixth Teaching Buildings and the Liberal Arts Building; and to the east is the School of Management, which together constitute a reading base full of academic and humanistic atmosphere. The Guonian Road where the bookstore is located is a quiet small road with the unique atmosphere of the campus, on both sides of the road are luxuriant platanus trees. Our starting point for design is to give a full play to the characteristics of the site.

Interface and Intuition
The site of the project is long and flat, backed by a centralised parking lot inside the campus. Only the west side along Guonian Road faces the street. The owner hopes that the bookstore could be completely transparent along the street, taking full advantages of the street so as to attract as many visitors as possible. It coincides with our focus on the image of the urban interface. Yet, we believe that the over-exposed internal space may lead to a loss of the interface; therefore, there becomes less fun and exploration.

At the beginning of the design, we thought about the posture of the building in the urban area: the temperament of a bookstore should be calm and soothing without a strong style and symbolic signs, and a coordination with the urban space, street atmosphere and site could be achieved.

We intend to project nature onto the building in some certain form, using platans as an important element of the ground scene; meanwhile, we simulate the perception of people walking on both sides of the street and the poetic capture of the effects of light and shadow changes. We finally reached an agreement with the owner to use the fold-shaped space between virtual and real as the facade along the street. On the outside, the part of solid wall serves as the carrier of light and shadow changes, and at the same time can effectively shield the sun from the west, and the inside is the book-shelf wall for display entirely.

The virtual part between the entities plays a role in reflecting the environment and at the same time forms a window effect. Together with the wall of the bookshelf, it forms single-person reading corners. While the readers are reading, they themselves have also become part of the street scene in the entire interface, forming a dialogue relationship between the architectural space and the street environment, and thus generating an architectural image. It achieves a balance between order, fun and functionality.

Site and Function
Covering about 1,140 square meters, Jingshi Bookstore needs to accommodate various functions such as reading, exhibition, cultural creation, leisure, reading club, training, and office. But as a comprehensive bookstore with nearly 30 years of history and tens of thousands of books, books are the absolute protagonist in it. It has become the key of the design to both balance the large-capacity collection and ensure high-quality public space.
The first floor is mainly for exhibition, reading and book storage, as well as activities and water bar area. The display space on the first floor is arranged in strips, forming a long gallery with the fold-shaped interface space intertwined with the real and the virtual. At the southwest corner, there is a coffee bar. There are windows for external sales along the street, which also serves the activity area and the rest area on the south side.

The entrance of the bookstore is set directly opposite the entrance of the west campus of Fudan University. Together with the curved gallery, coffee bar and outdoor rest area, it forms a facade facing the city interface. By arranging public spaces linearly and vertically, the relatively small space seems not as narrow.
Compared with the exhibition area, the reading and book storage areas are arranged in a more efficient manner, and the bookshelves themselves serve as space divisions. In order to ease the dense and closed effect of the space, a framed scene is created on part of the bookshelf to allow the space to extend visually.

The second floor is mainly for the display and sale of leisure and cultural and creative products, and can hold various special cultural exhibitions of bookplates, student works, and ancient prints etc., as well as training and high-quality cultural lectures. The stairs leading to the second floor are connected to the inner courtyard, creating an open visual effect. The inner courtyard itself also provides good natural lighting for the reading area, activity area, and warehouse office area, which adds the level of space.

The leisure deck area is adjacent to the horizontally open window. Its height reflects the luxuriant platanus branches and leaves outside the window into the room perfectly, presenting a long scroll full of life. This long scroll will also show the different scenery of four seasons, providing the readers a relaxing space and an atmosphere to enjoy reading.

The large terrace on the second floor serves as the outdoor extension of the indoor leisure and cultural and creative zone, which can meet needs of outdoor activities and exhibitions. The tall platanus leaves extend to the street frontage of the terrace like a huge umbrella. When sitting on the terrace surrounded by the green, you can read or talk in peace and get shielded from the noise and hustle of the city.

Construction and Form
Under the premise of strict control of construction period and cost, the principle of design of integration of architectural landscape and indoor is adopted, while redundant decoration is discarded. It forms an entirety from the outside to the inside, making the “construction” itself a “form”. We choose to use the container unit module as the main body of the bookstore. It is composed of eighteen 12m*3m*3.2m, six 9m*3m*3.2m, and five 6m*3m*3.2m cabinet units (in total 29). As for construction, it also helps control cost and construction period to apply the prefabricated assembly logic.

In order to ensure the unity of its construction and form, only two colours are applied in the whole building, dark gay and wood, forming a contrast between cold and warm. The indoor structural columns, ceilings and bookshelves are dark grey, which matches the industrial feeling of the corrugated panels on the outer wall of the container. At the same time, the large area of dark colour makes the lighting highlight the books as the protagonist.

The wood colour is also used on the facade of the building, the ceiling of the partial rest area, the indoor floor and the ground booth. The colour of the indoor space is the extension of the outdoor, which brings users a more comfortable feeling, not only creating a warm and peaceful atmosphere together, but also echoing the luxuriant platanus trees on Guonian Road.

Practice and Reflection
When the “upgraded” Jingshi Bookstore officially opened, we deliberately paid return visits at elected different time periods. We are pleased to see that most of the space can be used well and the intentions in the design can also be perceived. Meanwhile, we also found that the bookstore operators did not arrange books and other supplies exactly based on our original intention, which seemed to be a bit messy, and some of the soft decorations are the old ones from the original bookstore.

Compared with the perfect expression of the sense of distance in the design sketch, these seemingly imperfect states show a sense of realness and intimacy instead. People are naturally integrated into the trivial daily scenes in the building, and the whole space presents a state of harmony and tolerance. We hope that the existence of this bookstore can help cultivate its users’ reading habits and turn into an inclusive cultural site loved by the public.

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    Architectural/Indoor/Landscape Design: SHUISHI - Micron Architecture OfficeLead Architects: XIE Yuan, XU JinweiTeam Members: PANG Songyun, ZHANG Yun, HUANG Tingting, DENG Jin Construction design: SHUISHI EngineeringTeam Members: LI Bin, XU Yu, LI Yuqin, ZHENG Yao, YIN Jin Photo credits: ZY Architectural Photography Lighting Design: Shanghai Chuluo Creative Design OfficeConstruction Organization: Hangzhou Suge Construction Technology Co., LTD * Origin and Site SelectionShanghai Fudan...

    Project details
    • Year 2020
    • Work finished in 2020
    • Client Fudan University Press
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Libraries
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