Interior architectural design for a bookstore in 798 Art Zone

This is an interior remodeling project. The original building was designed by Liang Jingyu, an architect of renown in 1990s, which served as an adjunctive space to a well-known art institution back then. The floor plan of the architecture presents an asymmetric U-form, of which the south side of the space is long and narrow, the west side wider, and the south facade with French windows of a strong sense of sequence. The west side of the space is relatively upright and foursquare, to which, after repeated rentals and renovations, a second floor and an attached space had been added. The north side is shorter, a two-storeyed part serving as logistics space.

The new function of the building is planned as a new-type entity bookstore, which is not only supposed to fulfill its fundamental function of book sales as a traditional bookstore, but also to meet the needs of customers for relaxation and socializing as a public space. The specific functions include library zone, cafe zone, multi-functional meeting zone, small-sized exhibition zone, VIP service zone, and logistics and office zone.

The style of the interior design is inspired from the Art Deco aesthetics in the middle 20th century. This traces back to the history of the bookstore: It was founded by an Austrian Jew in Shanghai during his escape from the Nazi’s persecution, which was passed through to New York and Chicago and finally taken over by a Chinese and brought back to Beijing. From the designer’s point of view, this legend should be interpreted with a sort of best fitting form language which has to be the Art Deco style that once enjoyed brilliant and glorious fame both in Shanghai and New York. The geometric and a bit complicated decorative lines, the full-bodied contrast colors and the application of metal materials remind people of the golden era permeated with jazz music, perfectly coinciding with the most flourishing time of the bookstore.

Project info

Project name: Interior Architectural Design for a Bookstore

Location: 798 Art District, Beijing

Interior design: 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio

Principle architects: Prof. Dr. He Wei, Chen Long

Design team: Song Ke, Li Wanting

Counselor: Shu-Meng, Bookstores Union

Design period: Nov. 2018 to Jan. 2019

Completion time: May 2019

Construction area: 450 sqm

Photographers: Fang Liming, He Wei