“In 1845, the first manned hot air balloon rose into the sky, which marked the beginning of human exploration from sea to aviation and also stimulated mankind’s cravings for knowledge beyond the earth. Flying from the sky to space, the solar system to the galaxy, spacecraft have become an important carrier for human beings to explore the mysterious endless universe. Various tangible knowledge and intangible culture are showcased on the spacecraft-base-like space. When visitors arrive here through passages, they can acquire knowledge from books, while also perceiving the vast world. Therefore, the project serves as not only a “spaceship base” but also a platform for intellectual exchange, symbolizing human’s quest for infinite knowledge.”
Located in Joy City, Changsha, OPEN HOUSE is based on such a design concept. On the premise of retaining the original structure, the designers created a characteristic composite space that meets commercial needs. With humanistic meaning extended here, the space is given a profound significance.
The venue used to be an old commercial space in a broken shape. Since its existing structure and electro-mechanical equipments cannot be changed during the transformation process, it is vital to adjust the spatial layout as well as circulation routes. While suiting commercial spatial demands, the project practices the basic design concept, thus inventing a unique space distinct from conventional commercial spaces. Though fettered by some constraints, the design still achieves innovation.
The designers divided the space on the 5F into four main parts, which connect with the shopping mall below it, the rooftop garden, additional shops for renting, and the rear area. In this way, circulation routes are optimized. The optimization effectively associates flow of people upstairs and downstairs, improves spatial utilization, enlivens the whole building volume, and maximizes commercial benefits.
Full-height book walls are set on the two sides, along which mezzanine corridors are arranged. Commodities and books are displayed in a reasonable manner, both of which complement each other. Such display is closely related with the spatial theme, whilst matching commercial requirements as well. Moreover, free circulation routes offer diverse views at different heights, enabling customers to integrate into the space while walking. 
The total height of the space exceeds nine meters. Taking advantage of the long full-height structure, the designers created a large spaceship-shaped installation floating in the space, which brings impressive visual experiences. Semi-transparent materials help eliminate the sense of pressure, whilst also maintaining the full-height spatial effect.
A huge “spaceship” flies between arrays of books. Both complement and harmonize with each other, yet generate a visual conflict, thereby attracting attention and unfolding a fantastic sci-fi movie. Bright lighting and warm wood tone break the conventional cool style of sci-fi elements and also produce a softer and gentler atmosphere, allowing customers to enjoy viewing and reading in a relaxed and peaceful mood. The “spacecraft base” takes visitors to an immersive journey exploring the unknown and the mysterious universe.
Stairways and mezzanine floor are set to link with the rooftop garden and guide visitors’ circulation routes. Both of them diversify spatial layers and enrich functions. On the basis of words and books, the design also adds audio & video, digital device, catering service, life facility and culture, eventually forming a composite commercial space with comprehensive functions and therefore fulfilling multiple needs of customers.


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