- Hangzhou (China)
- Alberto Caiola Studio
A versatile and transformable concept – perfectly realized
Ganter Shanghai realized Alberto Caiola’s creative concept for the Harbook Hangzhou store as general contractor. The interior of this design bookstore is anything but usual. The bookshop in Hangzhou (China) offers not only a variety of presentation areas for books, accessories and furniture but also an integrated cafe.
Ganter Shanghai realized this ambitious concept by Alberto Caiola Studio with professional project management, high-precision work and international experience – from planning to execution and the turnkey handover.
Intersecting the otherwise open plan 600-sqm space are a series of arches. The reinterpreted arches of classical Italian porticos in the center of the shop are used for displaying books and to position the cash and information desk. The arcade surfaces are made of three different materials: galvanized metal, powder coated mesh and HPL panel with brushed stainless steel finishing, creating a tough, modern industrial style.
The spacious store attracts with a strong contrast of color such as the aquamarine, glass panel logo wall at the entrance, the grassy green velvet curtain hanging in front of the storage area and the geometric display stands composed of purple rectangles and cream columns. These Stand-alone displays punctuate the space. Their color palette, as well as the surprising mix of materials refers to abstract sculptures and lend the store a postmodern appearance.
Behind the arcade, a particular detail is the multistep display, used to place the Scandinavian furniture styles from Normann Copenhagen. The multistep display stand also serves as a perfect spot for events taking place in the store, offering seats for several hundred of people, as the steps allow the turn into a spacious auditorium at any time.
Further steps guide to the coffee area with its pink lacquered wooden structure on the ceiling, the columns and the tables. On the contrary, the grey tiling on the floor reminds people of where they are—at the bank of a traditional scenic spot, the West Lake.
A gentle light from a soft-film ceiling made of Barrisol illuminates the whole space. To keep the integrity of the lighting ceiling, we hid all the cables for HVAC and MEP into a 3.3-meter pipeline, which creates a similar look to a normal spotlight channel. Additionally, the soft-film ceiling can be opened for inspections maintenance work in the future.
In Hangzhou, China, Harbook is illustrative of a new wave of bookshops incorporating lifestyle elements to appeal to a new generation of urbanites. Comprising a bookstore, café, and contemporary Scandinavian furniture showroom by way of Normann Copenhagen, it blends aspiration with tradition.
To quote Alberto Caiola as the designer: “For centuries, Hangzhou – and its legendary West Lake in particular – has inspired writers, philosophers and poets. Harbook continues this legacy, expanding the city’s literary culture to include nods to European traditions, yet with a progressive approach.”
© Photos: Dirk Weiblen
GANTER realized the following projects for Alberto Caiola Studio: