You'd hardly know it was there, but an abandoned residence in a paddy field on the outskirts of a rural village in China has been transformed into a beautiful, contemporary bookstore and café.
Paddy Field Bookstore is located on the north side of Xiadi, a village in the Fujian province. It's a branch of the popular Librairie Avant-Garde, an independent book shop that first launched in 1996 and has since expanded across China.
The architects designed the building to look like one of the village’s historic structures, in order to blend in with the overall natural landscape of the village.
The transformation of the building was conducted by Trace Architecture Office (Tao), which is based in Beijing. The project was led by its founder, Hua Li.
When work on the bookshop began, there were only three rammed earth walls that remained intact from the existing building, as well as a few dilapidated courtyard walls.
The architects transformed it into a stunning three-storey building, complete with reading rooms and spaces for visitors to unwind with a book. It's made of concrete and steel, blending the contemporary with the traditional.
There are floor-to-ceiling windows in the café, so that visitors can enjoy great views of the entire village and the paddy fields, where rice is grown, along with their refreshments.
There is even a small theatre space that has stepped wooden seating areas. The seating usefully doubles up as shelving space when not in use for performances.
The building has a rooftop viewing terrace with an umbrella-shaped canopy. This provides visitors with a sheltered space and a high point to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
For further information on Tao, please see its website here.