Duoyun Bookstore in Huangyan

  • area / size 18,579 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Location Taizhou, China,
  • Wutopia Lab was tasked with bringing a metaphorical and specific vision to life for the Duoyun Bookstore in the Huangyan district of Taizhou, China.

    This is the first store in a foreign province for Duoyun Bookstore, which was born in Shanghai. It can be described as a cloud symbolizing idealism that slowly rises on the bank of Yongning River.

    Getting Up
    The beginning of a design can be based on a mood. Standing by the Yongning River during the day, with the river calmly and slowly going east, I was easily brought into the flat and distant composition of the southern Chinese landscape, and my mood and sight were both relaxed along the horizontal line. In the evening, many people pile up for their own entertainment along the river, lively and cheerful but not noisy. The air was slightly humid, and the river breeze gently popped through the water droplets, bursting a little refreshment around my face. I envied the tranquility and pleasantness of this city, which is scarce in Shanghai. Suddenly, I decided there should be a cloud, calmly and slowly rising over the river.

    Subtraction as Addition
    Clouds have a sophisticated and pure beauty. Rather than perform cosmetic surgery on a collage of cluttered commercial territorial façades, I decided to wrap them in a continuous white perforated aluminum panel wall. The continuous white creates a complex and pure interface on the riverside (by controlling the perforation rate, the façade creates a cloud of layers) hiding the bookstore. The aluminum wall is the façade, or it can be stripped away to become a courtyard enclosure or both. The continuous white aluminum wall is used as an addition to create a serene and pleasant visual subtraction. A cloud rises over the riverside, and the readers of the bookstore are in the cloud.

    Traditional typology
    The site of the academy is located in buildings 1 and 3 of a group of four buildings on the edge of the Yongning River. Building 1 is also composed of two buildings connected on the first floor as one. The public space site has a basement patio and an evacuation stairwell. It is a place where the focal points are scattered and unfocused. Traditionally, the “shuyuan” with scale and form are formed by a group of ordered buildings. If I consider the scattered buildings 1 and 3 and the interior space as the type of pavilions and pavilions in a traditional building group, then it is obvious that such a building group lacks a courtyard as a focal point. Since I needed a space to control these scattered individuals, creating a courtyard type was a natural choice for me.

    I planned a square yard in the open space between buildings 1 and 3. However, this yard was hidden behind the fence between buildings 1 and 2 (other people’s properties). I turned this courtyard into a front yard. It became the official entrance of the bookstore.

    The first area is the lifestyle book (area), and the coffee (pavilion) on the east side is near the water. I designed the staircase from the coffee to the second floor as a display (terrace) for reproductions of rare books combined with traffic. The second floor of the coffee is then the future urban parlor room (building).

    An interior aisle has been added on the west side to Building 1. The first floor of Building 1 is the bookstore area, with the entrance being the unique Duoyun shelving area (kiosk) with attitude, and then turning north into the main bookstore display (hall). After passing through the cashier’s desk, you will enter the reading (dwelling) designed using the aisle, followed by the creative (house).

    The upstairs of the cultural and creative area is an exhibition (museum). The upstairs of the bookstore is a stepped lecture area (room). The second floors are all connected to each other by roof terraces. These (platforms) are a children’s play platform, a mirror terrace, a discussion terrace with a fire pit and a labyrinth terrace as a coffee outing.

    The advantage of borrowing the typological architecture of pavilions and courtyards is that the connection between the function and the architectural type of the garden makes it easier for an uneducated audience to understand and support my use of the new courtyard to transform the public space and integrate the buildings into an easily interpretable new courtyard. The courtyard, later named Baiyunting, and its three side gardens (the front garden, the south garden, and the west garden) and the wall, integrate buildings 1 and 3 into a visually continuous complex. Thus a new courtyard architectural space is born out of the historical building type and rewrites a group of scattered commercial buildings, finally creating a new visual and spatial image.

    Design: Wutopia Lab
    Photography: CreatAR Images