Located in a dense forest by a lake in Shunyi, Beijing, this project is renovated from a Prairie style villa, with a inner-corridor linking several rooms. There are two kinds of interior heights: 4.8 meters and 3.5 meters. This building needed to be transformed into a space that could accommodate an architecture bookstore（Juanzong Bookstore）, children's bookstore (Yishan Books), restaurant, gallery, and office.
The original entrance on the north side is directly connected to the driving road, the east side is facing the other villas, and the west side is close to the noisy walkway. The site around the building has little specific sense of place.
We added a courtyard on the east, north and west sides, which enriched the spatial depth of approaching the building, and also reserved spaces for future outdoor activities.. Two trees were planted in the forecourt on the north to provide some shade in summer. The original courtyard wall was converted into a bench because the property management restricted its height. The two courtyards on the west and east sides are simply enclosed by low hedges, and the existing plants are preserved as much as possible.
The current building is a brick-concrete structure, and it is necessary to plan the use of internal space while keeping the original load-bearing walls and facade openings completely unchanged. We used the original higher foyer, living room and dining room, as the entrance lobby, the reading area and the coffee area, at the same time, the three lower rooms near the end as the children's bookstore, where it is quiet and private.
In this way, both the architecture bookstore and the children’s bookstore with individual spatial logics are contained under the same roof. The space of the architecture bookstore is continuous and extroverted, while the children’s bookstore is introverted and wrapped. These two are slightly different but harmonious.
Entering from the porch to the lobby, the viewing is led directly to the courtyard through the window on the restaurant’s wall, and the space will appear deeper once more layers are added. The three picture windows in the southwest corner of the original living room and dining room were removed, and the other two on the west were replaced with folding doors that allow people to walk through into courtyard. The one on the south which extends outward into a bay window with a sofa, becomes the reading area of the architecture bookstore. In this way, the interior space was expanded with more relaxing feeling.
With the openable facade, the space continuity of architecture bookstore and the restaurant is further extended to the courtyard. The architectural bookstore has a wooden ceiling that also has a relaxing atmosphere, and the ends of air-conditioning and other M&E equipment are embedded between the ceiling plates.
From the lobby, through corridor, children’s bookstore is located at the end of the corridor. The wooden winscot makes the tone of this space warm and soft. We hope that the children's space is as comfortable as home and a place where people can sit down.
There were originally three bedrooms, and we just removed the bathroom’s walls to make the space more organized. Wooden bookshelves are placed against the wall, benches are set up by the window, and low tables and bookcases are placed in the middle of the rooms, which creating an introverted and wrapped feeling by lowering the focus of entire space. Whether sitting in front of the window or under the lamp, it makes people feel comfortable and relaxed.
The facade of the existing building is covered with ceramic tiles, which is of poor quality and peeling off in some parts. Considering the cost and construction period, we decided to use a thick layer of putty to weaken the texture of the original tiles and create some uneven and rough hand traces, then cover with a matt paint to make the building surface more vivid. Looking from the other side of the lake, the low building and plain facades blend in with the surrounding picturesque scenery.
Under the same appearance, we made a delicate distinction between the interior of the two bookstores. Among the furniture that people can touch, the architecture bookstore uses galvanized steel sheets, while the children's bookstore is made of wood. There are also differences in the way of floor paving between the two. The architecture bookstore uses a simple straight flooring, while the children's bookstore uses a herringbone flooring to add a little lively tonality.
We designed the furniture and luminaire for the bookstore. The large pendent lamp is made of galvanized steel, and its huge form can rule the whole atmosphere of the space. The luminous area is large enough to keep the visible surface of the illuminant soft, emitting both up and down, so that there is even illumination in the room at night.
The bookshelf is a continuation of our previous design for the first Juanzong bookstore, with its own illuminant, keeping the ceiling tidy without installing spotlights.
As for the children's bookshelf, our first consideration is how to facilitate children's access to books. These books are sometimes not light, and often in large format. According to the height of children, we designed the penultimate layer as "a skimming-reading dock". We hope that thicker books can be placed on this layer for children to choose. The books on the higher layers are with the covers facing outward, making it easy for children to find and for parents to assist in picking them up. The bottom layer is used as dense placement of books. The curved cantilever plate with embedded illuminant extending from the top of the bookshelf provides soft lighting for reading and book display.
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