At beginning of 2020, everyone stays at home, traveling is not allowed. During this special period, there is still one thing that could let our mind fly far away, talk to ancient wise people beyond time and location, which is reading. WT Architects created the Guga Books in Chongqing.
To create a pure reading space, WT Architects put all the functions which make noise upstairs, consider as another individual project Guga Garden. One food lift connects the Bar to the bookstore to keep the reading space utterly quiet. Different from the popular way of making space complicated, this space chooses to be a big open space, to let people walk freely in the space at the same time as to be seen and watched. Objects become the main elements to divide space instead of walls.
Lots of “column” space around the objects are suitable for people to rely on and stay while nearly no “cave” space to give people the feeling of enclosure, which gives the space power to constraint people’s behavior. Nobody will talk loudly in a reading space when he is visible by lots of people in a 30 meters long open space.
In combination with the client’s experience of running a bookstore, together we have divided the process of gathering knowledge into 4 stages and spaces. 1. Choosing – Search knowledge – The Bookshelf Navigation System. 2. Reading – Absorb knowledge – The Spaceship Reading Bar. 3. Thinking – Digest knowledge – The Curved Garden. 4. Enlightenment – Knowledge Internalization – The Red Meteorites .
A brand-new way to explore knowledge with a different classification of books. Every single book can be easily reached and read rather than using books as part of the decoration. Basic respect to the books. All the books are facing customer which make people easily to have a relationship to the cover rather than side then increase the efficiency and interests during the process of searching knowledge. Lights on top of the bookshelves defined different zoning by different icons. Different from the traditional way of classification books, each bookshelf has a theme with different types of novels, science, art, etc. Using the display way of “if you like, you will like” to guide people to discover the books they might be interested in.
As the only reading area in the bookstore, the Reading Bar sits along the main axis of the whole space. It is both a huge object and a small space inside a bigger space. The shape of Spaceship stands for traveling, the wood pattern stands for “Tree Adam”, people can see the view out through the portholes.
Passengers sit on both side of the spaceship, inside is a channel for waiters to serve everyone sits along the bar, to make sure every single customer can be served. Each seat is separated by a partitioned wood on the surface to keep privacy and each seat has a private socket and a light. When you sit down, the waiter comes over, turns on the top light, and adjusts the angle to facing your book.
When one civilization first comes to an unknown universe, they are normally cautious. To watch outside without going out. The landscape has provided a place for people to sit and think, to calm down and observe, and to wake up the heart of reverence to nature. The curved concrete grid works together with the mirror to create the effect of an infinite extension of curved space.
View from the big portholes, green planet on one side, a red meteorite on the other. The red meteorite is a staircase to the upper floor Guga Garden which symbolizes the connection between time and space, people who finished reading books walk into the meteorite, cross and enlightened, then talk and communicate with people after they reach the upper level.
Irregular shape provides interest to space, the shape of light on the red steel board creates variation shadows inside the staircase. Together with the spaceship reading bar, through the whole space, a star daydream just belongs to Guga Books.
Today, there is already a queue waiting to have a seat along the reading bar. We see all the parents are trying hard to control the volume of their children, we see an ideal bookstore where people can read quietly, we see the books are selling beyond expectation, we have lots of positive feedback. The bookstore successfully becomes a place that is both eye-catching and attractive for citizens to come for a reading.
Photo: Prism Image