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News feature

Yue Library - Beijing Fenghemuchen Space Design create serene wooden library and café

Beijing Fenghemuchen Space Design have created a 1,170sq m library, coffee shop and cultural space in China’s Hangzhou City that is contained and shaped by natural wooden bookshelves and elements


The aim was to create a reading-themed space that could also be used for shared experiences and community purposes.

Designers Yi Chen and Muchen Zhang chose to use oak throughout for its warmth and natural feel as a material – and for the subsequent sense of calm that it offers.

They explained: “By building and shaping the space with natural wood, a kind of resonance with the human body can be created, which adds a dimension of warmth and kindness to everything we do in the space, making it a soothing and relaxing retreat from urban pressure.”

Bookshelves stretch up to 10m (33ft) high, effectively becoming the walls of the space, with smaller units used to divide and sculpt the layout.

A large glass wall on the lower level and large windows on the upper level allow plenty of natural light in and provide views of a garden outside, reinforcing the sense of being in a natural space.

In addition to areas for reading and drinking coffee, the Yue Library has areas dedicated to the different senses, including a space for discussion and a children’s playground.

It is also intended to act as a versatile hub for community groups and cultural experiences like literary, arts, movie and music events.

Design work began in April 2018 and construction began in March 2019. The library was completed this summer.

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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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