Architect: DAtrans Architecture Office, UK
Location: Timezone 8 Bookstore, Shanghai, China
A brand new bookstore was recently inaugurated in Shanghai. Going by the name of Timezone 8, it includes space for reading, organizing exhibitions or cultural events, as well as a bar.
Hosting all kinds of events in a limited space can turn into a real headache, and making things easier requires a flexible and versatile architecture. Lately, this spatial complexity was at the heart of the design adopted for Shanghai’s newest bookstore.
Three cylindrical silos welcome the static features of the bookshop while the remaining space, meant for more spontaneous and flexible purposes, is open and dynamic. Each book silo is devoted to its own theme: photography, art and design. They are all of the same height but can be differentiated by their diameters.
The designers also aimed to create transparency within the space, thanks to specific cylindrical constructions at eye level. Altogether, approximately 20,000 cross sections of PVC pipe were used. All this was made possible by design regulations encouraging experimentation throughout the construction process.
But why using silos? For DAtrans, who was responsible for the project, grain silos are symbolic of the architecture of the industrial era. They are essentially modern. La Corbusier, Becher and other artists also used these functional shapes in their work to signify the modern revolution.
DAtrans is an international research association dedicated to architecture and urbanism. It was founded in 2001 in Berlin, and an architecture office was established three years later in Shanghai by partners CHEN Xudong and WU Jie. DAtrans focuses on the evolution and mutation of the contemporary cities within a context of globalization. It is strongly involved in the environmental transformation and urban renewal of China.
Technical info: PVC rigid tubes
Picture credits: Yunhe Huang, Wenjie Hu