Excerpt: The Glade Bookstore is an architectural project designed by HAS design and research in China. The project shows the combination of materials and space and demonstrates unique constructional aesthetics. The Glade began with adaptation to Chongqing in the ancient form of stilt house and progressed in the exploration of complex function so as to think over the standardization, multifunctional and flexibility of modern bookstores.
[Text as submitted by architect] The Glade is a cultural brand, as well as a compound bookstore providing a new lifestyle. It is a place for a bookstore, coffee, afternoon tea, restaurant, bar, cultural and creative industries and irregular exhibitions. The origin of The Glade came from two famous initiator teams in Chongqing, The Razor’s Edge and One Day, who have cooperated to provide a quiet and restful place of void to Chongqing, or even busy metropolises in China.
The Glade is situated in the centre of Chongqing. Hundreds of years ago, in a military book named Six Secret Teachings, this place was called “the mountain city”. What is more, from the work of the mountain city of Chongqing painted by a well-known Chinese ink painter, Guanzhong Wu, we could also feel the specific topography of the mountains and various senses of scale. However, at the present time, the superb landscape is occupied by a great number of super high-rise, and the organic natural condition turns into lacklustre concrete constructions. Only in the countryside away from the city could we occasionally find the beauty of the mountain city and its distinctive Stilt Houses.
The Glade is not only a compound bookstore, but as the meaning conveyed by its name, it means tearing the cold concrete ground and planting a spiritual space in the high-density city. The design continuous this philosophy. It connects the split first floor and second floor with the spatial form of stilt houses; the lower floor is like the grey space of stilt houses, providing functions of reading, talking, resting, sharing with space of intervals and with the design of undulating stairs, it creates a micro-mountain city to form dynamic and explorative reading space; the upper floor is a continuous big roof of the stilt houses which integrates the space of coffee, afternoon tea, restaurant, bar and bookstore by using 6mm lines. Besides, in the distinct space, the change of light and shadow, time, site and environment are still tangible.
The project finally shows the combination of materials and space and demonstrates unique constructional aesthetics. The Glade began with adaptation to Chongqing in the ancient form of stilt house and progressed in the exploration of complex function so as to think over the standardization, multifunctional and flexibility of modern bookstores. The importance of The Glade is more than its special philosophy. It also provides a cultural symbol and a sense of belonging beyond the busy city life in diverse and delicate spaces.