Located at the center of China, Xi’an has been the capital of multiple dynasties for over 1,000 years and formed a profound cultural system. And it is now bearing the mission for the renaissance of the Chinese civilization and cultural confidence as an important place for education. Such background endows the city with the capability to incubate cultural and creative projects and pioneer in the culture and commerce integration.
The project is a bookstore-themed commercial complex, which offers lifestyle aesthetic experience with multiple business forms via a “culture + commerce” design strategy. The 18m-high and 240m-long artistic book walls in it are striking and pioneering, bringing a brand-new image of urban commercial space to Xi’an and even China.
▼二楼挑空区南面视角，south view of 2F’s void area
Turning commonness into advantage by making use of site characteristics
The project is situated at an industrial area in the northern suburbs of Xi’an, which doesn’t enjoy large human flow volume and prosperous commerce. Therefore, the conventional compound operation mode is clearly inadequate to attract customers. As Gonverge Interior Design took over the project, the roughcast architecture had been idle for 3 years. By making use of site conditions, the designers strove to present the strength and beauty of the original undecorated architectural structure, with natural light brought in.
Based on the long and narrow site in south-north direction and the four-storey-high daylighting void area, Gonverge Interior Design carried out project orientation planning as well as commercial and spatial design with five-sensory experience as the main axis. The designers kept the advantage of the original void area, with a view to producing a strong experiential sense of space. Besides, they strengthened and highlighted the features of the slender and long site, and created a smooth circulation with a sense of formality.
▼一楼挑空区北面视角，空间狭长，设置四层采光挑空区域，north view of 1F’s void area, the interior space of the bookstore-themed commercial complex is long and narrow and features for the four-storey-high daylighting void area
▼一楼挑空区北面视角，狭长的格局特质被强化，并顺势转化为仪式感的动线体验，north view of 1F’s void area, the features of the slender and long site are strengthened and highlighted, creating a smooth circulation with a sense of formality
Long book walls: unique identifier of the mall
▼书墙立面图，elevation of book walls
▼书墙局部细节，details of the book walls
According to Han-Sheng Cheng, the chief designer, it’s imperative to depend on culture to go beyond geographical restrictions and gather people, because culture itself does not have geographical distance and can attract the participation of all people, thus maximizing the flow of customers. Based on such idea, the mall was designed to be a hall of knowledge, with art and literature as the core and the theme of “book” running through the entire space. Gonverge Interior Design embedded two book walls under the diffused natural light, which are erected from 1F to 4F and stretch from south to north. With a height of 18m and total length of 240m ranking top in China, the book walls give the busy commercial space a sense of rituality, which is striking and magnificent, just like a hall.
▼二楼挑空区南面视角，在一层到四层置入了两道量体书墙，书墙从南面延伸至北面，south view of 2F’s void area, embedding two book walls which are erected from 1F to 4F and stretch from south to north
▼二楼书店阅读区视角，reading area of the bookstore on 2F
People-oriented and delivering value through five senses
With hundreds of thousands of books placed in, the two large walls are constructed with steel structures and transparent glass, which enables people to see through and also allows the light randomly diffuse to the void area to interact with the spatial entities in various forms. Readers can walk between the book walls and void area, which becomes a unique scene in this hall.
▼三楼挑空区南面视角，书墙以钢结构和透明玻璃为材质，south view of 3F’s void area, the two large book walls are constructed with steel structures and transparent glass
▼三楼挑空区北面视角，书墙与空间实体交迭出各种形式的语汇，north view of 3F’s void area, the two book walls interact with the spatial entities in various forms
▼三楼挑空区西面视角，west view of 3F’s void area
▼三楼挑空东面视角，east view of 3F’s void area
▼三楼儿童区视角，采用木质书架，kids’ book area on 3F with the wooden bookshelves
▼书店主收银服务台，the bookstore’s main cashier counter
The nearly 40,000m2 space combines the elements of art, culture and lifestyle, perfectly integrates scene-based reading and commercial functions, and creates an immersive reading environment. It’s a place enables sharing of feelings based on aesthetic, making it the best platform for cultural, creative and designer brands to display their creativity and ideas.
▼一层南北扶梯下服务台区，diagram of 1F service counter area under the south-north escalator
▼二层东南区服务台单元详图，detailed diagram of the 2F cashier counter
▼猫道楼梯详图，detailed diagram of catwalk stairs
Project name: LAFONCE･MAXONE
Interior design: Gonverge Interior Design
Spatial Design & Commercial Planning Director: Han-Sheng Cheng
Designers: Hsin-Hsuan Lu, Xin-Qiang Chen
Location: Xi’an, China
Project category: cultural & commercial complex (shopping mall + bookstore)
Area: 36,000 m2
Completion time: December 2018
Photographer: Weiqi Jin