Yjy Maike Centre Flagship, Xi’an, China
YJY Maike Centre Flagship No 12 Jinye Road High Tech Zone Xian
The latest in a wave of striking new bookstores from China can be found in Xi’an. A city rich in history, Xi’an was the seat of several of China’s most important dynasties, the origin of the Silk Road and home of the world famous Terracotta Army. With the heritage of location in mind, Tomoko Ikegai’s design looks to the traditional Chinese palace architecture and has created a series of interlinked rooms and courtyards that bring her concept of ‘library and gallery’ together.
The 4,500m² two storey bookstore is located in Xi’an’s development zone and is surrounded by fast pace tech companies that are fuelling the city’s growth. The Yjy Maike Centre invites visitors to slowdown and unwind and enjoy some alone time or meet with friends and colleagues. The store takes them into another world and provides quiet nooks where visitors can hide away and read, as well as social spaces to meet and chat, or join in events that take place around around the store and in the bookstore’s auditorium.
The monumental sweeping staircase in the centre of the space is decorated by an installation of lights that resemble fluttering sheets of paper, which like the ten metre high bookcases at the entrance is a visceral feature of the store’s design.
The design blends elements of libraries, as places for learning and valuing independent time, and galleries, that serve as intellectual spaces for displaying culture.
Yjy Maike brings commerce, culture and hospitality together in the first floor space that features desk work areas, relaxed seating spaces and bar, and which sees the bookstore doubling up as place for local office workers to meet, as well as a hotel lounge for the Hyatt Regency hotel that occupies the floors above the bookstore.
More than just a bookstore and a meeting place, the Yjy Maike Centre features distinct gallery spaces and showcases of artefacts intertwined with book displays which have made the Centre a cultural landmark, attracting an average of five thousand visitors each weekday and between ten and twenty thousand each Saturday and Sunday.