Disused sales pavilion becomes a library

Sales pavilions are usually temporary, mock-up style buildings used to sell apartments or commercial spaces before the final architecture has been completed. In China, sales pavilions have become increasingly popular and a pavilion will now be built as a litmus test for almost every housing project conceived.

Architects and designers favour pavilion projects as developments that are low cost and that bear relatively few creative limitations when it comes to design — recently, pavilions have veered away from becoming a complete facsimile of the space they are meant to advertise, and have instead come to represent a more creative, impressionistic representation of the projected development.

The problem here is, of course, waste. Pavilions are, for the most part, regarded as temporary or disposable structures and are generally demolished or dismantled after their commercial goal is realised. Recently, companies such as OPEN architecture have begun suggesting new, alternative ways to create and manage sales pavilions, attempting to integrate their design into a more sustainable program of architecture. Another such company is Van Wang Architects, who have repurposed a disused sales pavilion in China into a community library.

The library is intended not just as a means of filling the pavilion space and preventing its demolition but also hopes to provide a boost to local economies by drawing people, services and amenities to the surrounding area. The design of the space is inspired by building-block toys, an aesthetic Van Wang Architects hold true to as they fill the space with cubed, block shaped bookshelves. The shelves extend from floor to ceiling and incorporate a second level mezzanine which intersects the shelving mid-way. This mezzanine is accessed via a stairwell that is cantilevered from the ‘blocks’, and is itself cantilevered, increasing the reading space and overall square footage of the development without requiring any excess construction or visible interior columns.

The studio regarded the internal shelving units a child’s building blocks a muted colour palette of grey, glass and light wood is utilised to generate a comfortable but formal aesthetic. Thin wooden beams run horizontally along the length of the ceiling and help to texturise the space. Suspended from the roof are a cluster of modern, floating tube lights which hang above the central landing and, along with a number of generous glass windows, aid in the illumination of the space. The cubed face of the shelves extends onto the floor where a grey carpet is accented with a pattern of squares, each shape an alternating shade of grey. The result is a modern, coherent and cost effective community space that successfully interrupts the sales pavilion’s tradition of waste.

Instinct Furniture BLOG, mostly about cool libraries, furniture and design – keeping you abreast of our world. (Source: Designboom. All images by Van Wang Architects).

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