Ao-Hata Bookstore

A bookshop selling art books with a gallery function where artists can exhibit their works.

The first floor, which used to be a maisonette for a pub on the ground floor, is now an independent space, with only an old staircase at the back of the space. It was not a space that you wanted to enter, it even had an atmosphere that you were not allowed to enter.
The second floor seemed to be a building that had been heavily extended and renovated, with unusually low ceilings and raised floors that resulted in unusually low domestic aluminium sashes, reddish flooring and bumped wallpaper.
We decided to create an attractive "entrance" on the first floor and a "sun shutter" on the second floor to adjust the space.

The plan of the first floor is a right triangle, the hypotenuse side is open, and a dark staircase leading to the corner, which was made as a back space. We felt that the space had a slight sense of drama, glamour and festivity, similar to the staircase for the entrance to a stage set or the perspective backdrop of the Teatro Olimpico, and adjusted the walls, the number of steps and the approach to the entrance.
The dramatic blue colour of the logo was used to create a blue wall at the entrance, and the ventilation duct of the shop next door and the stairs were used to create a wall that evokes the logo. It was a coincidence that the colour contrasted so well with the colours of the city, but perhaps it was inevitable that blue, with its freshness and sense of otherness and surprise, should be the theme colour against the red and orange that the Fukuoka cityscape favoured.

On the second floor, the halfway low-placed aluminium sashes, which create a homely atmosphere, create an obtrusive light that creates glare at the same height as the artwork, reducing the wall surface for the exhibition and book display, and also bringing a sense of ordinary scale into a space that is intended to be extraordinary. To solve this problem, we installed sun shutters to control the light in the room and to display books on the slats of the sun shutters. The slats are made of boxed plywood and can be adjusted in three different positions, depending on the light level and the content of the display.
In the existing structure, we left the unorganised parts of the attic, the shed and the upper part of the walls as noisy parts, and we arranged and painted the walls to a set height, like a “kakewake” glaze. A sequence of huts frame with strong morphological characteristics is not noticeable, and the grouping is simplified: roof, hut, wooden furniture/ wall/ floor/ books, artwork.

The simple and uncluttered grouping creates a sense of tension, but at the same time, by using the eloquence of the existing building, the proscenium arch/brand logo and the sun shutters/products create a new viewpoint and close relationship to the existing building, and create both tension and intimacy.As a result, we were able to reconcile a brilliant opening to the city, inviting passers-by, and the extraordinary presence of art and books, with their different colours, shapes and textures, in an ordinary space, with a high contrast, but accessible and memorable.






Ao-Hata Bookstore

bookstore + gallery