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Junya Ishigama on the cover of the October 2019 issue of Azure Magazine. The Innovators Issue.
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October 2019

#275
October 2019

The Innovators Issue: Junya Ishigama's genre-busting architecture, Sidewalk Labs and the future of the city, and more!

 

For those living in busy urban centres, it can be hard to find an escape. As populations rise, the hustle and bustle fills up every corner, and finding a quiet corner and a moment alone seems impossible. Wonderland, Ma Yansong’s recent installation in a Beijing bookstore, suggests an escape route – through a book. By slipping on a pair of headphones, one can shut out the clamour of his or her surroundings, and wander into the world mapped out on the page.

The reading room was commissioned by Life magazine in celebration of World Book Day. Yansong and his firm, MAD Architects (which is behind the curvaceous Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Ontario) borrowed inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale to construct an inflated rabbit’s head with flopping ears, fitted out with giant black headphones. With its back to the interior of the Page One shop, the rabbit shuts out the world around it to form a cozy sanctuary that faces the window. Book lovers can hunker down on the bean bag cushions that line the interior, then watch the streetscape below fall away – only the treetops, sun and sky remaining to share the fictional world with them.

Though Wonderland’s whimsy and scale makes it ideal for children, and it serves as an enchanting portal to the enjoyment of reading for the young, it’s an equally tempting refuge for adults. Along with it, Yansong offers his own reading recommendations, including a visit to the fantastical realms of the The Alchemist (for grown-up readers), and The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (for younger ones).

 

Mad Architects’ Wonderland installation will be on view at the Page One Beijing Sanlitun bookstore until May 22.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.