Atelier tao+c transformed an old house in a remote Chinese village made from mud walls and a wooden structure into a community library, bookstore and hotel. The architects gutted the house by removing the original floors and partitions, and replaced it with a labyrinth of bookcases and stairs that lead to the more private hotel levels at the top.
The architects opted for a surprising 1.35 meters height in the upper levels that will only allow visitors to sit or lie low. The levels are split and staggered to create an interesting spatial configuration. The levels are connected with thin metal stairs and invite the visitor to explore.
The grid of the bookshelves defines the layout of the building and elements like the wooden windows fit within the grid. The bookcases are made from locally sourced bamboo. Grey brick cladding was used for the exterior and parts of the interior to fit with the building’s surrounding.
The building is opened up with corrugated polycarbonate panels towards the public front and closed off the higher and more to the back you go. In this way the exterior is a reflection of the program with open public spaces and more private closed off hotel functions.