In fact, when is comes to independent thinking, 99% of the information conveyed by most modern people may be meaningless. Recognizing this means starting to confirm the sense of existence and find a sense of self-control.

▼书店外观,exterior of the bookstore ©肖湘


Mountain and Road


▼麓山南,the south of Lushan Mountain in Hunan ©水木言设计机构



There must be a personal bookshop in the south of Lushan Mountain in Hunan. And if there can only be one bookstore in this place, it must be Zhijian Bookstore. This is just one of the bookstores he has opened, and as the founder of Zhijian Bookstore, this bookstore will become a part of his body. Life is very short. After graduating from Hunan Normal University, I worked at Hunan University and studied at Central South University. These best years of my life were walking on Lushan South Road, from Erliban to Zuojialong. If there are not too many accidents, I will also die in the south of Lushan Mountain. If you want to open a Zhijian bookstore in the south of Lushan, I must, must, let it witness the youthful memories of generations of Lushan students.

A brief summary from Old Ben “South of Lushan Mountain, North of Autumn Wind | Opening Ceremony of Zhijian Bookstore University Town”

▼书店落位在一个带院子的建筑里,The bookstore is located in a building with a courtyard ©肖湘


The Confucian culture of the Central Plains has been spreading to the southern cities. In Lushan, it has been infused with the blood and sincerity of Jingchu. Taoism runs through Hexi culture. Hunan Art Museum, Yuelu Academy, Houhu’s new cultural and youth business with hundreds of flowers blooming, landmarks such as Xie Zilong Image Gallery, Li Zijian Art Museum and other cultural attractions make people have a high degree of recognition of the cultural attributes of “Western culture, Eastern market”, with distinct Features.  The Zhijian bookstore is located beside Lushan South Road, conceived between the infiltration of the market and the cultural heritage of Lushan. How to find the natural growth force to achieve survival, and even change the situation of the bookstore industry, has become the mission of design thinking. For the people of Changsha, Lushan South Road is the continuation of the Hexi culture at the foot of Yuelu Mountain. The prosperity and hustle and bustle have witnessed the youth of generations of students, and their stories with the old streets of the city. It has witnessed the four seasons of this old city at the foot of the mountain. Located beside the Lushan South Road under Yuelu Mountain, this is the independent gene of Zhijian.

▼灰黑屋檐形成室内外转场的心理暗示,Grey and black eaves form the psychological implication of indoor and outdoor transition ©肖湘


Black and White

—— 原研哉

Too much creativity is essentially the same as “questioning”.
A creative question is a way and does not require a definite answer.
This is because it contains countless answers on its own.
—— Kenya Hara

▼墨色汉字比划结构,ink-color Chinese character gesture structure ©水木言设计机构


White paper is the void of unlimited potential; black text is the reality of unlimited possibilities. The bookstore is located in a building with a courtyard, facing the hustle and bustle of the front street, while the backyard embraces the tranquility of the community. Inside, there are architectural windows to which you can talk, and the side of the building has the roughness and seclusion of slope protection. The scene seems to be contradictory but gives the space the possibility of various dialogues. We lowered the original height of the eaves of the building. In this way, before people enter the bookstore, the closeness of the gray and black eaves makes people form a psychological hint of the transition between indoor and outdoor—a certain ritual before entering the world of reading and self-exploration sense. The volume of the red brick building is combined with the light skin combing, so that the building has a simple and classic readability, and it also has the unique book atmosphere of Lushan Academy.

▼书店室内概览,overall of the interior ©肖湘


The bookstore faces south, and there is plenty of light. The change of light along the contour of the eaves can also change the black and white boundaries of the cut into the room. Time is a powerful pen, slowly changing the balance of power in this world. People sitting indoors and outdoors will feel the peace of mind under the wide eaves and are happy to bathe in the reading.

▼南向迎阳采光面,The bookstore faces south ©肖湘

▼由展台看靠窗座位,viewing the seating area by the window from the display counter ©肖湘

▼靠窗座位区,seating area along the windows ©肖湘


White contains everything, while black is what is written. The black and white ceiling surface separates the open reading area from the passage. People’s movement and stillness in the place will be carried out in the envisaged order. This setting also guarantees the openness and transparency of the scene.

▼黑白分明的天花块面让开放式阅读区与通道泾渭分明,The black and white ceiling surface separates the open reading area from the passage ©肖湘

▼展台细部,details of the display counter ©肖湘

▼由展台看书架,viewing the book shelves from the counter ©肖湘

▼开放阅读区,open reading area ©肖湘


We hope that people here can concentrate on reading and thinking, and occasionally relax. The depressed side facing the window spreads out horizontally, and the green space in the backyard looks out to the vastness and depth of the sea. This design gives people a profound sense of perspective and makes people feel that everything seems close at hand. The transition between reality and ideal is only between lowering your head and raising your head.

▼黑与白的室内基调,Black and white interior tone ©肖湘

▼阅读区,reading area ©肖湘


Mountain and Road


Why do you climb mountains?
Because it is there!
——George Herbert Leigh Mallory

▼“山”的意向,The intention of the “mountain” ©水木言设计机构


Books are a light in the spiritual world. Night breeds thoughts, light brings vitality. This is another expression of “bore a hole on the wall in order to get some light from the neighbor’s house”. The fun of exploration triggers people’s thinking. The pure white sky is dazzling with hopeful brilliance, and the installation of the ink-color Chinese character gesture structure is heavy and concise. These mutually dependent characters form the expression of the intention of the mountain of books with the path to the road.

▼台阶呈现出“山”的意向,The steps presents the intention of a “mountain” ©肖湘


The steps surrounding the flower stand are rugged and gorgeous. The light from the roof is spilled into the room from a fixed angle every day, and then the texture of the concrete stairs is carved like a knife, and then the texture of the black stroke device is polished with light from various angles. Every day, it goes back and forth. If we want a bright future, we must make progress every day, continue to cross the ladder of knowledge one after another, and feel the strength of each step of the foot that impacts the depths of the soul.

▼围绕花台的阶梯质感粗放拙朴,The steps surrounding the flower stand are rugged and gorgeous ©肖湘

▼雕刻一般的水泥阶梯肌理,the texture of the concrete stairs is carved like a knife ©肖湘


An independent bookstore is like a tree that grows naturally. The reason why each tree is independent is that I only rely on the selected ground gripping foundation and its growth posture. Zhijian bookstore is shrouded in the aura of Changsha, a new first-tier Internet celebrity city, blooming in various commercial scenes and cultural venues. The bookstore chose a distinct path. It insisted on growing barbarously but full of tension. It has never catered to others, but is actually full of the power.

▼台阶上方的黑色笔划装置,the black stroke device ©肖湘

▼由书架之间看台阶与艺术装置,viewing the steps and art installation between the bookshelves ©肖湘


Stay or Go


When I am reading,
I would like to stay in front of every beautiful thought,
It’s like staying in front of every truth.
——Ralph Waldo Emerson


Guard the corner of the soul, stay in this bookstore. The road show release area is raised one step higher, and the light-transmitting ceiling makes the venue more pure and solemn. The motivation for this design is to share ideas so that ideas can be delivered on parallel interfaces. What is stationary is the people under the same roof; what is moving is the interaction and collision of thoughts. The study is close to the slope protection of the original building. While preserving the original texture and memory traces, we processed the surface locally. We hope that this place can become a parallel space where the soul walks, no matter what the genes are, the interests will stop here. Hope is born in the heart, and then continue to walk with righteous thoughts.

▼路演发布区,The road show release area ©肖湘

▼守心一处,止步此间,Guard the corner of the soul, stay in this bookstore ©肖湘


Located in the south of Lushan Mountain, this Zhijian bookstore is like a cultural depression that breeds the growth of grassroots spirit. The indomitable spirit of the independent bookstore drove him to strip away all kinds of surface phenomena and immerse himself in the creation and nourishment of spiritual power. Thus, there is the Zhijian under the Yuelu Mountain. ——When fashion and fashion come, we can go and watch it, but don’t cater to it.

▼书房,The study ©肖湘

▼书房细部,detail of the study ©肖湘


The field that has never been seen


At the beginning of the design, due to the lack of connection between the building and the outdoors, we set up a sprawling rice field at the entrance of the building. We hope that people will pass through the scarce public landscape of this city, and in the reading days that change in the four seasons, they will be able to continuously trigger Natural and self-thought and exploration, but unfortunately, due to various reasons, the rice field was cancelled.

▼改造过程,process record ©水木言设计机构


We are canceling the rice field plan, and based on the extension of the architectural symbols and the landscape, we abstract the ridge to form an extension of the bookstore front ping scene. In this way, a dialogue relationship between the building and the scene can be established. However, due to opposition from local community residents, the implementation was ultimately unsuccessful. However, no matter what the result is, as an independent bookstore, we stick to our beliefs. Every attempt and effort along this path is a flash.

▼区位图,location plan ©水木言设计机构

项目名称:止间书店 麓山南
摄影版权: 肖湘

ProjectName:  Zhijian Bookstore
Design scope:interior design
Location:   343 Lushan South Road, Yuelu District, Changsha, Hunan, China
Area: 760㎡
Design Company:  SMY Space Interior Design Studio
Chief Designer: Liang Ningjian
Assistant Designer: Li Xinli、Sun Piao
Soft decoration design:Da jing
Design Cycle: June 2020
Completion time: November 11, 2020
Main Materials: Self leveling, dark gray paint, metal plate, dark gray stainless steel, metal mesh
Photo credits:xiaoxiang
Design Editor:Jin Xuepeng