Wutopia Lab has recently completed the design of Duoyun Books’ flagship store on the 52nd floor of Shanghai‘s tallest building, Shanghai Tower. Dubbed ‘Books Above Clouds’, the project was commissioned by Shanghai Century Publishing and includes a variety of functions including a bookstore, a lecture room, exhibition space, and a cafe. Providing more than just books, the new public place intends to become a cultural landmark within the busy city.
The store covers a huge area of 24,315.67 ft2 (2259 m2), providing space for 60,000 books. The scheme by Wutopia Lab centers around translucent bookshelves stacked in layers, or what the design team describes as a ‘white abstract mountain’. The curved entrances invite visitors inside to explore the books on offer, while at the end of the ‘mountain’, large windows gain impressive views over the city below.
A round bookshelf is used to synthesize a black study room, which is the secret of Shanghai. The circles are connected to each other and expand outwards, each of which is independent but can wrap you tightly. Due to fire protection requirements, the movable bookshelf is used as a partition to separate different areas of the room. At the same time, the bookshelf is not to the ceiling, fire hydrants and fire doors are kept, so the original fire zone is guaranteed not changed. The bookshelf is divided into transportable parts based on the size of the freight elevator, without changing the appearance. The bookshelf is prefabricated in the factory and installed on 52 floors.
Between black and white, Wutopia Lab sets a gray space. There are two layers of the wall, the outer layer rotates out to form a heavy screen. It is a multi-purpose space can be used as a wall for exhibition, or for exhibition speech.
There are huge potted plants in the garden, fountains and stone piers occupy the space, these things are heavy and cannot be removed, so in the South Garden, the studio designed two stainless steel leaf-shaped high tables, silvery leaves embedded in the trees between the pool and the stone pier, it is a state-of-the-art art installation. The table is like a sparkling pool, reflecting the shadows of the trees. The owner named this place as the Cape of Good Hope. Wutopia Lab used a prefabricated metal plate to hide the fountain in the South Garden and change it into a stage. There is a circular groove in the center of the stage, suggesting the shape of the fountain hiding below. The place near the outer wall of the stage is a semi-circular pit, which is a place where people can look at the clouds.
Wutopia’s design also comprises of two places to enjoy a cup of coffee on the 52nd floor. Firstly, a ‘Tiffany Blue’ cafe is embedded amid the white translucent bookshelves. Meanwhile, a pink dessert house lies at the end of the store as a surprise to visitors. developed as a high-quality bookstore, books above clouds results in a calm, beautiful space to spark readers’ imagination.