Longshang Books Cafe / Atelier Mearc


Sociology and Science Textbooks. Image © Shan Liang

Sociology and Science Textbooks. Image © Shan Liang

Architects: atelier mearc
Location: 142 Meilong Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
Lead Architects: Wei Zhou
Design Team: Jun Zhang, Qi Wang, Shuyu Yang, Xiwen Xu
Area: 188.0 m2
Project Year: 2017
Photographs: Shan Liang

Façade Consultant: Compass Façade Consultant
Lighting Consultant: Mischen Lighting Design
Mep Consultant: Sanjiang MEP Consulting
Building Contractor: Shanghai Zhuan Construction and Development
Manufacturer: Slientgliss, Forbo, Fermob, Hafele
Client: East China University of Science and Technology Press


Window. Image © Shan Liang

Window. Image © Shan Liang

Text description provided by the architects. Chemical Bookstore was located on Meilong Rd, Shanghai. It was a typical old-style bookstore. What you saw is just as simple as bookshelves, everywhere full of books and several aisles. Books, people reading books and purchasing behavior constituted the space.


Arch. Image © Shan Liang

Arch. Image © Shan Liang

Regarding to the space shape and its content, it could be the most straightforward ‘bookstore’ that is so familiar with people. This point later is used as design method of the new bookstore, Longshang Books Café. After investigating on ‘in what shape would the bookshelf be’, we found that a straight, parallel arrangement of bookshelf provides most route options possible. Unlike the original Chemical Bookstore, lined aisles are naturally formed by bookshelves, they also provides flexible moving directions.


Coffee Salon. Image © Shan Liang

Coffee Salon. Image © Shan Liang


Plan

Plan


Coffee Salon. Image © Shan Liang

Coffee Salon. Image © Shan Liang

The space combines bookstore, coffee and salon, these functions are differentiated but interacts with the other two. Therefore, a kind of ‘arch wall’ is applied. The element has been adopted in spacious salon area and bookshelf structures. Especially in the latter experience, sitting in the ‘arch wall’ reading, or browsing along the bookshelf backside becomes an interesting examination of these delicate correlation with people and environment.


Multi Use of Arch. Image © Shan Liang

Multi Use of Arch. Image © Shan Liang

The next step is to find the proper structure to support the bookshelf. Later when everything else is ready, the ‘arch’ arises after connecting with the bookshelves. The arch vault fits together with the support structure into one piece. Given all the elements of an ideal bookstore: bookshelf, ‘arch wall’, supporting structure, arch. Located on Meilong road, how will it make contact with the environment?


Book Display. Image © Shan Liang

Book Display. Image © Shan Liang


Section

Section


Arch Wall. Image © Shan Liang

Arch Wall. Image © Shan Liang

Meilong road is an east-west street in southwest Shanghai. It runs through several old residential buildings. On Meilong road, to the east of Longshang Books Café is East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), and to the west lies 600 meter long metasequoia strip.


Façade. Image © Shan Liang

Façade. Image © Shan Liang

For better understanding of the new bookstore, original facade is completely changed. One entry door and one large scale window helps to draw more natural light inside. This decision was made after careful and positive examination on how much light should the ideal bookstore needs being replaced. There are 3 ‘windows’. ‘Window 1’ is the entry door, from where the indoor circulation begins. ‘Window 2’ stands on the same exterior facade where the circulation ends. It also leads lower light in. ‘Window 3’ connects coffee bar and the book area, through which an Osmanthus tree and campus of ECUST could be seen.


Coffee Bar ‘Window. Image © Shan Liang

Coffee Bar ‘Window. Image © Shan Liang

All bookshelves indoor are made of steel panel. Meanwhile, the curtain wall of exterior facade applies the same steel panel. Sharing the remarkable consistency, the facade acts as the corresponding point of indoor and outdoor. In consideration of using the most basic, familiar material, besides the stainless steel panel, wood is commonly used as well. In combination of familiar material and unfamiliar structure, the feeling of space scale gets vague.

There are 20,000 books and 24 coffee seats In this 188 m2 space newly rebuilt


Façade. Image © Shan Liang

Façade. Image © Shan Liang

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