August 11, 2021

LUO Studio Transforms an Industrial Mall Space into an Inviting Bookstore in Beijing

LUO Studio restored the original columns and walls, unveiling unique spatial textures. Photography © LUO Studio. 

Tucked away in the windowless underbelly of a mall in Beijing, China, a raw commercial space presented a welcome challenge for LUO Studio, tasked with transforming it into Mumokuteki Concept Bookstore. To create a dynamic space fit for exhibitions and retail, the designers utilized the existing industrial elements to their advantage, drawing focus to the exposed pipes and cement features. “For the spatial renovation, bringing in a conventional suspended ceiling to conceal the pipelines would have led to a more cramped, oppressive space,” the designers note. Instead, the team opted to restore the original walls and columns—polishing irregular edges and corners to reveal their innate textures and returning the ceiling and walls to subtle hues of gray.

But for functional purposes, the client also needed inventive and flexible shelving solutions. “Since the walls were built with non-bearing hollow blocks, the specific width and height of the shelves had to be pondered carefully to concentrate the stress of the shelves on the ground, with the walls providing additional support,” the designers explain. With these considerations in mind, the team placed metal shelves against the walls and added multiple “anchor points” for added support. The moveable shelves also double as room partitions, serving as a structural installation. As do a series of rotating transparent screen walls, which divide the space while providing a continuous sightline throughout. Each screen wall features an array of holes on both sides, allowing wooden sticks to pass through to hang items or hold metal shelving plates, adding yet another display option for books and merchandise.  

Transparent rotating screen walls lead visitors toward the back of the store, creating continuity within the space, while translucent walls are set in other areas. Photography © LUO Studio. 
Polished concrete columns reflect the original textures of the industrial space. Photography © LUO Studio. 
A shelving unit set against the wall is supported by multiple anchor points. Photography © LUO Studio. 
LUO Studio preserved the industrial elements in the space, such as the overhead pipes, rather than conceal them. Photography © LUO Studio. 
Holes are carved out on both sides of the screen walls, allowing wooden sticks to pass through, serving as a display for books and other products. Photography © LUO Studio. 
A coffee bar near the entrance is made of natural wood, offering a contrast to the gray walls and ceiling. Photography © LUO Studio. 
A glass facade offers views into the interior. Photography © LUO Studio. 

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