A Dramatic Visit,

Immersive Scenes Tour in a Theater-Theme Bookstore

Type – Building Renovation, Interior Design, Showcases and Furnishing, Visual Guidance System

Location – Shanghai, China

Area – 1437㎡

Completed – 2020

Open – 2020


Materials –  environmental brick, glass, metal, aluminum alloy, cement, recycled wood, mirror, velvet, leather

Entrance and Cafeterra


General Intro

Duoyun Books-Theater Bookstore, located at Changle Community, Shanghai. Changle is a noted Cultural Area witch famous for hundred-years history theaters: Lyceum, Cathay, and Jinjiang Hotel.

Committed to the revival of this area, the Bookstore takes up the theme “Drama”, introducing Books and Cultural & Creative Stationaries in Drama and Pan-Drama genre and topics – Literary, Music, Movie, and ACG etc. And its original building was just next to Lyceum Theater.

Like Claude Lévi-Strauss critiqued on “À la recherche du temps perdu” (Marcel Proust), Lead Designer Lv Yongzhong agrees that “Nonlinear Structure” can be involved into Immersive Drama, or Interior Spaces. The Idea is implanted to the design of the project: “The bookstore is a very Drama belongs to every visitors’ own, that some unique experiences engender amount in spaces, interpersonal relationships.”

Facade before retrofit

Key of Design

The aging of the community, buildings getting old just as a diva getting hoarse, is always affects the vitality amount the area. However, the Changle Community is constantly cradling Historical and Cultural Atmosphere definitely.

The building’s original as “Shanghai Ballroom Dancing Club” since 1980’s, its interior spaces is closed and divided, besides, through 40-year process, it’s become complicated and disordered – form structure to façade. And there is also need to considered with restrictions of Historical Contour Outline.

As a comprehensive task, to retrofit the old building for mission of leading the revival. Lv’s team taken the Renovation of Façade and Interior, Showcases and VG System, make each part to penetrate together.

Lv thinks that “Dramas play on the stage then audiences watch them offstage in the past. Now we think Drama points to possibilities, that the live we living become more dramatic, spaces could become stages, we’re playing our own stories.” It leads to working on re-layout and “partial-peering” between spaces, in order to Create the Immersive Experiences through “Nonlinear Wandering”.



The Bauta of Drama

“You’ve just pull up the Curtain when you open a Book of Drama.”

The Façade shows a combination of “Stage” and “Bookshelf” after re-read its structure by obeying the historic outline, it could be perceived naturally. Interphases between Bright-Yellow Environmental Brick and Matte U-Shaped Glass Brick, one offers a vigorous temperature, the other one offers a chiffony mystery.

An arcade appears on 3F balcony, like a stage that some plots are seemed just happen there. It extends the scenes to the sideway and links pedestrian and visitors together.

The Façade more like a trigger of super senses, to let people to imagine at very first, before they comprehend it’s a bookstore about drama. This sequence makes a riddle-like process that attracts them to walk inside and experience.

The relations between spaces, sketch by Lv Yongzhong


An Unexpected Visit

“What is the charm of Drama? Unexpected conflicts, emotional immersions…”

The works started at Re-arrangement Areas, according to their requirements based on systematic connections, Designers just build up “Immersions of Drama” in abstract and perceptual way. Besides, to plenty use drops between areas, multidimensionally linked and switched. It’s about “A Time and Space Wander among the Pieces of Memory”, like Lv said.

Every area is shaped from Imagination that came from visitors’ impressions about “Drama”, by abstracted these impressions, people can interpret them on everyone’s own way.

The boundaries between areas, now is broken by “Leakage”, a brilliant expedient of traditional garden in China. By using porch, window and terraces, leading people to see through partial spaces, therefore evoke curiosity constantly to traverse among. In the meantime, people interacting with scenes and other people, will become many unique experiences.

Lv believes what the point is, “The Authority belongs to Readers.”

The spiral staircase

Through staircase to book area, 2F

The “1930” cafe, 2F

Restaurant with “The Pillar”, -1F

Restaurant with “The Pillar”, -1F

Gallery and ACG area ,1F


The Courteous Criterion


Lv’s team had also designed the bookshelf and counters. Benefited from over 15 years’ experience of furniture designing, the Team is well versed in scales of ergonomics and social-ergonomics.

A hollow is created on each island-bookshelf, the hollow is a reading space that shrouded by Gauze. It may be like a Box that keeps privacy of a person who is reading book in it to a certain extent. When other person passes by, the Gauze is just half-separated some sight contact in a hazy way.

Eyes on where stories happening


Not only the stage of where the drama-lovers gather together. The Bookstore is bearing future mission, the nourishment, to bring up more drama-lovers even the next generation.

The Bookstore has been set up, offering communicable milieu for different genre of people. Lv and his teammate just eyes on the Post-construction phase. “Is there been realized, the scenes that we just considerate, about communion of drama-lovers, book readers, leisure crowds and tourist so on? Is there actually helps to create more cultural content, and revive the area? We’re watching the stories happen, and about to happen and our work.” Said Lv Yongzhong.