Shanghai studio Alberto Caiola has conceived a space where concept is king; the ‘Harbook’ in Hangzhou, China is a curated store that sells books, Danish design wares and coffee.
In this sprawling concrete space, steel porticos, pastels, and pistachio velvet drapes all serve as the backdrop for an ambitious concept store. In addition to its book selection, the 600-meter-square store houses a cafe based on a “dreamscape”, and a showroom for Danish furniture design studio, Normann Copenhagen. “For centuries, the city—and its legendary West Lake in particular—has inspired writers, philosophers and poets”, explained Alberto Caiola’s studio. “Harbook continues this legacy, expanding the city’s literary culture to include nods to European traditions, yet with a progressive contemporary approach.” This merging of past and present is reflected in the interior design; inspired by an “imaginary cityscape” it features an eclectic assortment of distinctly post modern furniture and a color palette that ranges from silver and pale pink to electric blue and vibrant violet. The immersive concept of the store is deliberate, Caiola’s studio commenting that “In all projects we focus on experiences and how these should touch us, and like art, evoke feelings and emotional responses”.
5F, No. 239 Yan’An Road, in77 D block
All images © Dirk Weiblen