HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks for spiral shell library in china

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks for spiral shell library in china

 

Twisted Brick Shell Concept Library by HCCH Studio

 

In the rural landscape of Zhejiang Province, China, HCCH Studio has designed a brick spiral shell to serve as a concept library for the local community. Nestled within a high grass field, the structure measures approximately 10 meters in diameter and stands 5 meters high. The primary goal of the project was to explore the integration of contemporary formal expression with vernacular material culture. Constructed using red bricks cast in-situ, rather than through traditional masonry, the structure presents a continuous surface formed by two semicircles. This design choice intentionally blurs the boundary between the interior and exterior spaces. The interior is illuminated by natural light filtering through an opening at the top, and small holes in the walls allow visitors to read text inside acrylic balls, fostering a connection between the observer, the mind, and the natural surroundings.

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks to craft spiral shell library in china
all images by Qingyan Zhu ©HCCH Studio

 

 

Blending Traditional Materials with Digital Precision

 

Distributing bricks effectively on the double-curved surface posed a significant challenge for the HCCH Studio team during construction. Perforated steel plates act as a reinforcing framework, guiding brick placement and subsequently filled with high-strength concrete. These materials collaboratively form the structure. To maintain radial continuity, bricks of 12 different widths are strategically placed along the UV grid. The resulting shell follows a straightforward construction logic and visual expression, influenced by stacked and interlocking masonry. Departing from traditional brick construction, the pixelated matrix distribution of bricks and the variable thickness of the ‘mortar’ (actually in-situ concrete) introduce a practical dimension. This approach represents an innovative blend of digital industrialization with traditional materials in rural construction. The library serves as a contemporary space for body and mind, encouraging visitors to engage with a broader environment through reading and reflection.

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks to craft spiral shell library in china
pixelated matrix on the shell

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks to craft spiral shell library in china
twisted shell in a high grass field

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks to craft spiral shell library in china
sunlight sheds into the dim interior through the opening at the top

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks to craft spiral shell library in china
the twisted top

twisted-brick-shell-concept-library-3-65ae8ecbdb8df

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks to craft spiral shell library in china
top view

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks for spiral shell library in china
pixelated matrix

HCCH studio stacks hundreds of red bricks for spiral shell library in china
path to the entrance

twisted-brick-shell-concept-library-2-65ae8ecbdb8cc

village, farm, river and city

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curious local people
curious local people
visitors reading through the peepholes
visitors reading through the peepholes

project info:

 

name: Twisted Brick Shell Concept Library
designer: HCCH Studio | @hcchstudio

design team: Hao Chen, Chenchen Hu, Yida Hou, Wenxi Li, Xi Cai

structural consultant: Zhun Zhang/AND office

location: Longyou, Zhejiang Province, China

period: Jun. 2022- Nov. 2023

photography: Qingyan Zhu 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina petridou | designboom

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