trace architecture office (TAO), led by hua li, has transformed a long-abandoned residence on the outskirts of a rural village into a contemporary bookstore. surrounded by paddy fields, the building is located on the north side of xiadi, a village in china’s fujian province. as the structure’s rammed earth walls remained intact, the architects were able to keep most of the house’s original architecture.

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © zhuo yuxing (also main image)

 

 

externally, the xiadi paddy field bookstore — a branch of the popular ‘librairie avant-garde’ — appears as just another of the village’s historic structures. however, once inside, TAO’s intervention becomes more apparent. internally, two concrete walls form the main structure of the restored building, while two cantilevered floor slabs spread throughout the space and connect with the rammed earth walls at the corners, providing structural stability.

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © zhuo yuxing

 

 

the edges of the floor slabs are detached from the rammed earth wall so that light can enter through the skylight above. an enclosed and introverted book display area is formed between the new concrete structure and the walls. a theater space, which is the largest internal space, is situated between the two display walls. meanwhile, a café is positioned on the cantilever to the west, providing visitors with views of the village and the surrounding paddy fields.

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

 

 

at the center of the building, a steel column penetrates through the concrete structure and supports an umbrella-shaped roof on top of it. here, a terrace provides visitors with a sheltered outdoor space to enjoy panoramic views across the landscape. steel channels at its four corners hold the roof structure in place, while simultaneously allowing rainwater to escape.

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

trace architecture office transforms abandoned residence into village bookstore in rural china
image © chen hao

 

 

project info:

 

project: xiadi paddy field bookstore of librairie avant-garde
client: librairie avant-garde

location: xiadi village, pingnan, fujian, china 

program: bookstore, café
principal architect: hua li | TAO (trace architecture office)
design team: hua li, li ruoxin, zhai dongyuan, cheng xiangju

structural engineer: ma zhigang, zhang suiping
MEP engineer: lv jianjun and kcalin design group
MEP engineer: li xin, zhao zirui, li wei
construction team: zhuo yijiu, zheng jialiang, gan zhenqin, zheng debu, zheng zhongchun, zheng delv and other local builders

floor area: 397.3 sqm 

structural system: steel/reinforced concrete

design: 2019.3-2019.6
construction: 2019.7-2019.10
photography: chen hao, zhuo yuxing