tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses 'yan' bookstore in shenzhen using rammed-earth walls

tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses 'yan' bookstore in shenzhen using rammed-earth walls

designed around the concept of ‘life in the east’, which lies at the base of chinese culture, yan bookstore by tomoko ikegai / ikg inc provides a space in which visitors can engage in deep self-reflection and create their own unique stories. the 2,475 sqm bookstore is located on the third floor of shenzhen‘s MIXC commercial complex, closed off by a long façade of rammed-earth walls to create a very different, ‘zen’ world within.all images by nacasa & partners



‘over the past thirty years, the population of shenzhen has exploded from 300,000 to 14M people,’ explains tomoko ikegai of ikg inc.’it is unique among chinese cities that sixty-five percent of these residents are in their twenties and thirties, giving it a powerful new energy.’ located in the city’s MIXC commercial complex, in a development area facing shenzhen bay where hotels, residences, sports facilities, and office buildings are clustered, yan celebrates chinese culture and offers a space where visitors can feel the calm and dignified spirit of zen buddhism. ‘recently, bookstores have been opening all over china which on a surface level are beautifully and strikingly designed,’ adds the tokyo-based studio. ‘however, we felt that especially in this proactive city, it was important to value china’s originality and individuality, exploring mystical images of the east in the context of globalization.’



the bookstore is closed off from the lavish surroundings of the complex with a long façade of rammed-earth walls, reminiscent of layers of deep strata, that incorporate soils varying in color, from amber to milky white. these shades form the base for the color scheme inside the store, which is composed entirely of natural earth tones. tile in a mock italian travertine pattern covers the floor, expressing the idea of accumulation through marble’s visual representation of earth hardening over many long years. tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses yan bookstore in shenzhen with rammed-earth walls



the gold color of the bookshelves derives from the image of minerals within the earth, while the slender, delicate metal shelves express spirituality. by nearly eliminating the presence of these exceedingly thin shelves, the design conveys the concept of immersing oneself in a sea of books. five custom-made original artworks that match the concept have been installed, while each piece of art has a theme to match the pattern and concept of the space. tomoko ikegai / ikg inc has also designed an event area with a small gathering space within the bookstore for a variety of events where visitors can interact and exchange information. tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses yan bookstore in shenzhen with rammed-earth walls tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses yan bookstore in shenzhen with rammed-earth walls tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses yan bookstore in shenzhen with rammed-earth walls




project info:


name: yan (前檐 in chinese)

architect: tomoko ikegai / ikg inc.

sales floor area: 2,475m²

client: china resources land limited

design cooperation: arterior co., ltd.

lighting: sola associates

graphic design: ujidesign

location: no.2888, keyuan south road, the mixc (shenzhen bay), nanshan disctrict, shenzhen, china

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