A church within the church is the new library designed by Wutopia Lab

A former orthodox church in Shanghai is restored without changing the original features, building a second metal structure inside. 

In Shanghai an Orthodox church built in 1932 and now abandoned has been restored as a library. Wutopia Lab in approaching this particular site was guided by the Shanghai Historic Building Protection Affairs Center, with the obligation not to take off or change any significant traits of the facade and plan. In order to highlight the original structure, it was also necessary to clean it from the additions made during the decades when the church was used for other functions. 

For the poetry library designed by the Chinese studio, therefore, since it could not touch the existing surfaces, it was decided to recreate a church within the church, built using materials that differed from the original – metal – and that would in any case leave the walls of the church visible.

The 5 mm thick silver-plated metal panels were assembled together, simulating the bulk of the apse of the church, so that they could be used as shelving for books in sale. In this centripetal space, as opposed to the silver walls, there is a golden note placed where the original altar used to be, now used as an info point.

Sinan Books (Poetry Store)
Shanghai, China
Wutopia Lab
Shanghai Century Cloud Culture Development Co.
388 sqm

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