Chongqing Xinhua Bookstore Group Jiefangbei Book City Mixed-use Project is a dynamic complex in the Jiefangbei Central Business District, the heart of downtown Chongqing, China. It encompasses a sky cultural plaza, retails, apartments, offices and a boutique hotel. We draw design inspiration from an ancient Chinese prose ‘Knowledge brings wealth’, to integrate book with the cultural and natural elements of Chongqing. Chinese national and most widespread chained bookstore, Xinhua Bookstore, sits at the center of the podium, to create an interactive ‘Cultural Innovation Oriented Development’.
The design draws inspirations from Chongqing local context. The architecture unfolds stepping terraces in an elegant form of a rolling book scroll implying the spirit of wisdom and knowledge. The stepped architecture not only reveals the well known geographic beauty of Chongqing named ‘Mountain City’ but also interacts with the surroundings and rejuvenates the city landscape.
We created the new commercial architecture typology ‘Cultural Innovation Oriented Development’, to tackle the challenges traditional Mixed-use projects are facing with. The bookstore is thoughtfully put in between the entertainment and retail level, where these 3 functions could supplement and interact with each other. Thus attracts more circulation with maximized commercial vitality. By including multiple theme plazas, terraces, and green gardens, the design aims to break the ‘enclosed boxes’ mode of the Jiefangbei area with expanded public spaces, therefore offer a diverse and unique retail experience. The design also includes an express escalator that provides convenient vertical transportation.
Three distinctively theme plazas are well connected with the street and green terraces by a grand express escalator. The Sky Cultural Plaza and Sky Entertainment Plaza at the podium become a new cultural destination for lifestyle and entertainment activities. The staggering outdoor terrace for al-fresco dining reflects the city’s unique mountain features and indigenous, outdoor, leisurely lifestyle. Together with the Sky Garden, the podium enriches and extends the civic space of Jiefangbei Plaza to provide a refreshing and tranquil environment in this business center for users to relax and enjoy.
The offices and sky restaurant located at the top of the tower extends the stepped feature of the podium. Exploiting the landscaped advantage of the tower top, the area was expanded outside the roof, where people can enjoy the beauty of the Yangtse River and Jialing River in distance.
Double layer curtain with perforated metal and glass is used for sustainable considerations. The area of glass curtains is strictly calculated and controlled to reduce solar heating. We designed bespoke integrated natural lighting and ventilation system for this project. The glass panels ensure natural lighting, and behind the perforated aluminum panels is the concealed open window ventilation system.
The outdoor terraces are surrounded by greenery and an ecological sky garden is located on the 12th floor to reduce Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in CBD. The Book City project provided a new architectural typology, which combined the cultural and commercial aspects of the mixed development, it created a new notion of “Cultural Innovation Oriented Development’.
For its central location and long history, the Chongqing XinHua bookstore was the memory of many locals, but its popularity withered as the digital becomes the preferred format. Incorporating multiple functions, this project used the bookstore as a catalyst to transform the mixed development into a hub of social activities.
The architectural language employed such as terraces and stepped design features was inspired by Chongqing’s geographic characteristics. The dynamic architectural form and public realm offered a unique experience to the public.
Informing a vertical “Mountain City”, which is the alias for Chongqing, the project will be the future heart of diverse urban activities for the locals and visitors alike.