Text description provided by the architects. Wutopia Lab recently designed an entirely white Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi’an, one of the most ancient cities in China which used to be the capital for thirteen dynasties, with 300 tons of steel and 30,000 meters of light strips.
我们放弃了直接进入书店的设计，并在四楼的商业空间打造了一个闪闪发光的入口；这要求在不破坏主体结构的情况下，打通五层的楼板进入书店主要区域。 我们设计了一个无柱的白色弧线楼梯，由一条白色旋转飘板强调，周围是定制白色亚克力所砌筑的书墙。 读者们从日常生活中而来，攀阶而上，并被周围书籍所展示的求知和探索精神所鼓舞，进入云中书店。
We aborted our design of a direct entry into the bookstore, and created a glittering entrance in the commercial space on the fourth floor; this required to make free of the floor slab of fifth floor into the main area of the bookstore without destroying the main structure. We built a pillarless white curvy staircase, highlighted by a spiral white panel, surrounded by custom-made white acrylic walls. Readers coming from their everyday life, heading up the stairs step by step, and are encouraged by the spirit of knowledge and curiosity displayed through the books around them to enter the bookstore over the clouds.
书店的基本空间包括受欢迎的图书推荐区和公共阅读区。 我们决定在“云”上打造一个读书天堂，它应该具有轻盈流线型的自由空间，但为了遵守消防规范的限制，我们不得不挑战书架的传统类型和材料。 我们第一次使用5mm厚的钢板来定制曲线的书架。 经过精密的结构计算后，隐藏在背面的基础钢架被用作支撑结构。3000多米长的钢板书架作为悬挑结构漂浮在空中。 为了实现这样一个柔软自由的场所，我们使用了大量时代前沿的数字化理念和技术，每块钢板都经过编程优化处理，由数控机床加工生产，然后根据编号在现场组装。
The basic space of the bookstore consists of popular book recommendation areas and public reading areas. We decided to make a reading paradise over the “clouds”, and it should have a light and streamlined free space, but in order to follow the restrictions of fire codes, we had to challenge the traditional types and materials of the bookshelf. For the first time, we used 5mm thick steel plates to customize curved bookshelves. After precise structural calculations, the steel frame that is hidden behind the foundation is used as the support of the structure.The over 3,000 meters long steel plated bookshelf floats in the air as a cantilevered structure. Digital concepts and technologies are used in order to realize such a soft and free space: each piece of steel plate has been optimized through programming, processed by CNC machine tools, and then assembled on site according to the numbering.
The free flowing bookshelf outlined by a curve has a total of ten levels, making full use of the corners of the public reading area. The rounded chamfers leave the space with no sharp corner, the back panel is made by a translucent acrylic; whereas the book recommendation area of the white bookstore is to suspend the triangular steel plate with a slender screw, so that the books displayed above seem to float in the air. This is a brand new experience to the Zhongshu bookstore branches.
公共阅读区的中央是神庙，楼层的中心，在结构梁的中央矗立着一个精致的展架，其是钟书阁的“每月一书”，只能供一个人翻阅和思考。这里的楼板被玻璃地板取代，这仿佛水面的楼板下隐藏的是空间用作读书会或小型会议。这个无形的学院和可见的神庙共同构成了钟书阁的中心 - 一个可以让人们思想和灵魂得以焕发光辉的神殿。
There is a pantheon in central of the public reading area. In the center of the floor structural beams stands an exquisite displaying rack for Zhongshu's “Book of the Month” selection, and can only be held by one person at a time. The floor slab here was replaced with a glass floor in order to mimic an illusion of water surface. The space underneath it holds a room for reading meeting or a mini conference. This invisible academy and the visible pantheon together form the center of Zhongshu Bookstore — an oasis where the mind and soul can be rejuvenated and set free.
Zhongshu Bookstore's children's library is a crystal structure hidden in the forest. It was inspired by the trees and animal silhouettes of the nine-colored deer to protect the children’s Wonderland. Kids will find their own hidden entrances, a hidden world of playful tricks and caves, and have the skylines of the architecture, blue skies and starry nights. This is a world for children.
Zhongshu Bookstore has ensured that the core shopping area is not only a quiet zone, but also a motion zone based on the streamline and operation of the cinema combined with the coffee and meal service with more dining tables and booths. The bookstore, thus, is creatively merged with the cinema.
The design and construction of Zhongshu Bookstore which lasted 600 days is not only the transcendence of Zhongshu Bookstore itself, but also represents the great urban revival that Xi’an is currently experiencing. The whitest bookstore is filled with various kinds of ancient souls of various temperatures with pure thoughts, memories, and hopes.
I hope my architectural practices reiterate our everyday life through immense imaginations and dramatic artistic expressions. I also hop that it transforms reality into a “magic reality” and creates an illusion that uncovers bits of truths in our life. Miracle, raising from ordinary life, is believed to be both a magnification and a fated outcome of ordinary life — the stories of which can be colored and told in an extraordinary fashion. Zhongshu Bookstore pays the tribute and performs a white Divine Comedy to the capital of thirteen dynasties — Xi’an.
建筑师：俞挺 Wutopia lab