li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china

greater dog architects unveils Li City Study in china

 

Li City Study takes shape as a government-sponsored public welfare project in the Tianmu Lake Resort of Liyang City, China. Signed by Greater Dog Architects, the converted office building offers the convenience of shared urban cultural spaces, providing a public setting for citizens and tourists to read books for free, 24 hours a day. During the renovation, the architectural team conducted in-depth research on the existing building, rooted in its past, and responded to the new functions. Respecting the surroundings, construction methods, and the structure’s rhythmic framing, the practice followed sustainability principles to the greatest extent, utilizing the existing space to create a cultural venue within a limited innovation framework.

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
all images © Metaviz Studio

 

 

curved & framed forms collide within the renovated complex

 

Three above-ground levels and one underground floor define the Li City Study complex. A semi-outdoor entrance set back from the building and a deliberately extended circular traffic flow both separate it from the noisy street. At the same time, the team at Greater Dog Architects took out the exterior walls, exposing the original beams and columns. They cut the actual floor slabs and added new setback circular structural beams on the main facade, further highlighting the modern language of the existing framework system. Through the dialogue between old and new, a well-balanced aesthetic unfolds across the facade and interiors.

 

The architects also reorganized the form of the window openings, using a frameless inner curved floor-to-ceiling glass to contrast with the solid framed structure, highlighting the precise architectural contours. More viewing angles toward the outdoors are added around the curved wall, establishing a dialogue between the renovation and the scenery of Tianmu Lake. The facade’s outward-curving arc shape extends the language of the inner curved beams, revealing a new exterior facade combination while creating diverse reading settings indoors and offering more privacy. Meanwhile, a slender skylight at the top of the outward-curving arc creates a new connection to the outdoors, allowing visitors to look up and enjoy the poetic movement of light and clouds.

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
Li City Study is a new cultural space in Liyang City

 

 

a minimalist, daylit reading space wrapped in a terracotta hue

 

Beyond reorganizing the openings, Greater Dog Architects also upgraded the circulation throughout the building, using spiral staircases in the cylindrical space to connect the main areas on each floor. The circular skylight introduces natural light and further increases the connection between the interior and exterior of the stairwell; indeed, natural light here is maximized, creating multiple relationships between the initially closed ‘box’ and the external environment. The unmistakable outline of the cylinder is revealed on the facade, interspersed within the original beams and columns frame system. The gray wooden tiles are re-dyed and pressed from recycled wood, which adds natural texture and warmth to the building. The exposed beam and column structure are wrapped in reddish-brown exterior paint, and the same color reflected by the glass blurs the outline of the interior, further highlighting the natural texture of the wooden shingles.

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
reddish-brown outlines envelop cylindrical and arched grey-tiled volumes

 

 

The minimalist interiors emphasize book display and arrangements, creating a serene reading space with a sloping roof design. This roof also opens up the connection between floors and serves multiple functions, blending the coffee counter with book displays. The bookshelves follow the same design, with smaller, cantilevered shelves concealing lighting. A cozy reading area is formed in a corner with glazed ceramic bricks and reddish-brown floor bricks complementing the building’s facade. Apart from the facade, circulation, and interior improvements, the building underwent functional updates. The team enhanced load-bearing capacity and modernized HVAC, fire safety, and lighting systems. Structural modifications were also made to meet seismic requirements, extending the building’s life cycle. While distinctive in Tianmu Lake, the renovated Li City Study maintains a sense of proportion, integrating with the urban context while enhancing cultural offerings.

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
Greater Dog Architects renovated the old office complex by following its original structural logic

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
the entrance now includes floor-to-ceiling curved glass

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
a four-level reading space for the community

li-city-study-designboom-full-8

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
maximizing connection with the surrounding context

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
emphasizing book displays and arrangements

li-city-study-designboom-full

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
café-reading area

li city study invites 24/7 reading amid a terracotta-hued & skylit backdrop in china
spiraling staircase with ample daylight pouring from above

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project info:

 

name: Li City Study 

location: No.375, Yingbin Avenue, Tianmu Lake Town, Liyang city, Jiangsu province, China

architecture & interior design: Great Dog Architects | @greaterdogarchitects 

client: Jiangsu Tianmu Lake Holding Group Co., Ltd.

collaborator: Shanghai Urban Architectural Design Co., Ltd.

principal architects: Jin Xin, Zhihong Hu

design team: Manyan He, Keith Guo, Longlin Gong, Huge Shen, Alex Wu, Ella Tang, Vincent Wang

structural design: Shanghai Yijing Architectural Design Co., Ltd. 

photography: Metaviz Studio 

building area: 2,387 sqm 

start year: 2021

completion date: June 2023 

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