Hidden Top-Floor Bookshop

PrizeBronze in Interior Design / Rooms and Zones
Firm LocationBeijing, China
CompanyCao Pu Studio
Lead ArchitectCao Pu
Project Videohttp://

Located in Changsha, the 17-storey Firework Mansion used to be the dormitory building for staff of the former state-owned fireworks company. Nowadays, young people have moved away, so those left are mostly retired elderly people. There is a 60 m2 apartment on the top floor of the building. The once high-expense complete shear wall structure forms a light tight environment. Even in daytime, the interior is dim. The owners want to transfer this apartment into a family bookstore, and name it “Reedom”. They wish to provide a good place to go for the residents in Firework Mansion. The small apartment is not qualified to provide environment for reading. We enlarge the window on the outer wall as much as possible; open several holes on each solid wall inside, to let the light and eyesight pass. Holes inside the house also invite in natural draught. The rooms are small. We decide to go the adverse way to change them into smaller ones and create a more sincere and concentrated environment for reading. Thus, we placed bookcases and partitions in the already small living room and bedrooms. To save space, we’d like to use the holes as desks. In this way, we get many mini reading rooms with interlinked light, eyesight and air, while ensuring privacy. The balcony becomes a most unique place for reading, with a good city view. We enlarged a window in the living room. Using a corner of the rooftop platform as the extension of the bookstore, to face it and the balcony. We have built very good relations with the neighbors. Meanwhile, we are designing better facilities for them to dry clothes and pickled radish on the rooftop. We hope to finally build the area into a good place to go for the whole community.