Pyramid Book House / MAT Office

Architects: MAT Office
Area: 78 m²
Year: 2023
Photographs: Arch-Exist
Design Team: Kangshuo TANG, Miao ZHANG, Youpeng LIU, Xitong LI, Da LIAN, Haitao ZHANG
City: Chengdu
Country: China

The Pyramid Book House, a public welfare project designed by MAT Office in Wanchun Town, Wenjiang District, Chengdu, enhances community engagement by providing a cultural and social space outside the conventional library system. Recently completed, this small book house forms part of a series aiming to bring reading and leisure opportunities directly to rural and suburban communities, symbolizing warmth and inclusion with its guiding principle: “No matter how late it is, leave a light here for me.” The design utilizes simple, cost-effective materials and construction methods, emphasizing sustainability and local traditions, making it a new cultural landmark and a daily social hub for the local populace.

Pyramid book house / mat office

This small book house, recently completed as a public welfare project, is situated in Wanchun Town, Wenjiang District, Chengdu, surrounded by a typical agricultural landscape with suburban and rural communities. This book house is part of the “Pyramid Book House” series in Wenjiang District. Designed as a high-quality community service initiative, the “Pyramid Book House” aims to extend reading services beyond traditional public libraries, fostering a cultural life with the ethos, “No matter how late it is, leave a light here for me”, thereby adding warmth and emotional resonance to the community.

The book house is a temporary structure positioned in the green belt of Tuanjiequ Road. The design articulates three main spaces dedicated to reading, display, and leisure, employing three pyramid-like geometric forms. The steeply sloped roofs define the architectural silhouette but also enhance the interior with natural light from above. The volumes are interconnected by a glass ceiling, crafting an indoor-outdoor spatial experience through transparency. The external walls, clad in wood tiles, utilize local materials that harmonize with the rural surroundings and reflect the traditional material palette of the Chengdu Plain.

Cost-effectiveness is a key consideration for this public welfare project, resulting in straightforward and visible architectural outcomes. The entire structure is constructed using a basic wooden framework, simplifying construction by eliminating costly structural junctions. The flinches, serving both as beams and columns, define the internal spaces while the pine plywood functions as both the structural enclosure and the interior finish for walls and ceilings. The wooden tiles on the exterior provide protection from rain and align with the sustainable attributes of this ephemeral structure.

Upon completion, the book house swiftly transformed into a local landmark. The residents of nearby rural areas gradually embraced this new addition. Initially curious, they began to explore and utilize the space for reading and social activities. The site has since evolved into a communal gathering spot where adults can be seen enjoying the sun and children play on the surrounding grass. On weekends, young people from adjacent urban centers visit for relaxation and leisure. As dusk sets, the building, reminiscent of a towering book spire, becomes a luminous beacon across the plain, offering solace and guidance to the community.

Pyramid book house / mat office
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Wan Chun Da Dao & Tuan Jie Qu Lu, Wenjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 611134

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