Shanghai Zhongshuge Thames Town store | Li Xiang

Shanghai / China / 2015

9
9 Love 948 Visits Published

The Thames British Town is the most famous scene for wedding photography. But, such a British town is more awkwardly like a delicate scenery, as its many spaces are not filled with attractive contents and the amorous feelings expressed secedes from the practical life.


However, dramatic things always happen. When physical bookstores close down one by one, the owner of Zhongshuge acts in a diametrically opposite way, trying to establish the most beautiful bookstore in the Thames Town, so as to recall the nice memory and flowery age of reading.


Zhongshuge lies at a corner of the Thames Town, comprising two floors, covering an area of 600 square meters. Designer takes the two floors as two worlds. At the first floor, designer aims not only to find the lost memory of reading in a standing posture, but also to create an experience of being wrapped by a sea of books while reading in leisure and pleasure, making readers feel free like in a private room.


Staircase connecting the upper and the lower floors is rebuilt into the gate of the store. It’s a lobby, more like a palace hall. Sunshine spattering from the ceiling of the simple church gives a respective praise to the books and the wisdom hidden therein. Some books are displayed at two sides, and some are paved on the floor which is also designed as a bookshelf. Some are even placed before and behind the staircase where looks like a bookshelf that is pushed over, on which you must step slightly. At that moment, you will show respect to books unconsciously. Actually, designer only wants to bring a feeling of being tightly embraced by books or by human.


 


We need to comfort the worrying soul by reading. We’ve already been used to reading in random, forgetting the ceremony of reading. So we, perhaps, desire a clean place to gain reflection and elevation from reading. The right place is exactly the second floor of Zhongshuge, the temple of books.


The centre of the second floor is pure white, the temple of books. In the mirrorlike ceiling, bookshelf ascending in an arc path joins to the real image on the other face of the virtual image to compose a whole temple, more like the firmament. You can’t describe it exactly by words. Finally after climbing from the staircase made of piled books onto the temple, you may take a deep breath. Sitting on the floor, you may get surprised, but more pleased as the books like floating in air are in touch. Reading here is not only literal chase but interior interaction. When immersing in the sea of knowledge, you will find reading is essential to our life. As a medium, books, in the temple, provide an approach for you to recognize the lost soul to see the heaven.


Behind the while temple, there are annular corridor, black mirror, black bookshelf, black ceiling and black floor, forming a mystery almost sinking into the deep of dream. In such a black gallery, one never wake up or even get slept, who knows?


Back to the corner of street, designer wraps the slightly attractive European vertical plane with a layer of glass. There is a masterpiece paragraph of over twenty languages, including mathematic formula, physical equation, chemical formula, famous building, music, astronomy and other knowledge. That is a declaration actually, claiming Zhongshuge as the proud culture symbol of this commercial town.


The humanistic Zhongshuge is a peaceful Peach Garden in the human society. By displaying the entity and spirit of books through delicate designs, the designer redefines bookstore, street corner, as well as the life here.


The design concept of Zhongshuge Phase II follows the relaxed and joyful reading and buying experience in a sea of books, while adding one more interesting and gorgeous scene. It not only gives more leisure reading experience for adult readers, but also creates a space exclusively for young readers.


Zhongshuge Phase II is located adjacent to the original Zhongshuge, and connected to Phase I through some modifications. The two spaces are linked by a broader reading corridor, so as to form a balanced space. Since then, the entrance of Zhongshuge has been in the middle of Phase I and Phase II.


Going inside Zhongshuge through the new entrance, you will see three rotatable bookshelf-like revolving doors, which usually rotate perpendicular to wall at an angle of 90 degrees to implicate the door of books is open for you. It seemingly leads people from the outside world to the sacred and demure hall silently. And then, you come to the central reading museum space of Zhongshuge Phase II. Designer extends the bookshelves here from wall to the overhead and then downward from the other side of the wall, which forms a palatial vaulted book space. You will see many inverted lamps hanging in the air, as we are wholeheartedly immersed in reading and forget our whereabouts and time.


Slowly moving deep, you will be suddenly attracted by the colorful corner where as if not belongs to the palatial deep and rich sea of books, but more like a colorful and lively rainbow falling from the sky. Here is the brilliant kid space of Phase II designed specially for young readers. Inside, the space is centered on a tree – the representative of life. The printed nautical map guides us to a new world with thriving vitality. The different animal patterns in the wall sketched with childish lines are the bookshelves here. The slightly naughty and humorous expression of animals shows childlike simplicity and joy. Animals are also standing on the map of the ground. These animals are representative lives of different continents, and also bookshelves here. The minds of animals may be the most identical with children, so the designer creates a colorful and dreamy zoo library for children themed as Dream Zoo.


And then, we come to the second floor by a bookshelf stair same as that of Phase I. Similarly, there is no bookshelf of entire column, but your minds will soar high and tower stand under the guide of the demure bamboo scroll of primitive simplicity texture from the depths of history. The high-low scattered books embrace you with an elegant radian and make you an irresistible impulse to go inside the woods of books. The ceiling is designed as a fantastic starry sky. The indistinct stars gaze fixedly at the ground for long, and seemingly tell wordless epic. The bookshelves on the surrounding walls reveal a desire to escape and break through the sense of form. Perhaps, it is a mission, as an unconstraint soul casually dancing and singing and suspending in the sky with light and shadow. The unearthed momentum of the side construction more blends in the variation of book scroll rhythm, which is interpreting the rise and fall of civilization.


All of sudden, a holy light is tantalizing. Under the guide of the light, you devoutly seek for the source of light, and finally, you understand, only clasp your hands together can you feel its temperature when the light is sprinkling. In the hearts of everyone, a scared temple lives. We believe that this place is the temple. The tranquility from reading and the warmth through narration under a pen unites only you and me here, regardless of the wind or cloud passing outside.


Zhongshuge Phase II conveys the implicit and delicate reading feelings through the materialized shape of soul. The designer displays the world and spirit of books again with the rich designs, and redefines the bookstore with dreams!

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    The Thames British Town is the most famous scene for wedding photography. But, such a British town is more awkwardly like a delicate scenery, as its many spaces are not filled with attractive contents and the amorous feelings expressed secedes from the practical life. However, dramatic things always happen. When physical bookstores close down one by one, the owner of Zhongshuge acts in a diametrically opposite way, trying to establish the most beautiful bookstore in the Thames Town, so as to...

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