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Fang Suo Commune, a Creative Bookstore Combines Reading with Life
Fang Suo Commune is an innovative bookstore, selling not only books - drinks, clothes, and creative houseware and gadgets are all available.

Located at Taikoo Hui (太古汇), one of the high-end shopping malls in Guangzhou, Fang Suo Commune  (方所) is an innovative bookstore that is quite out of tune among luxury shops.

Since its opening in late 2011, Fang Suo Commune has attracted much attention in Guangzhou. The bookstore sells not only books - drinks, clothes, and creative houseware and gadgets are all available. In addition, it regularly invites some domestic writers, painters and other artists to hold book signings, lectures and seminars for the public.

Design of the store

Covering an area of nearly 2000 square meters, Fang Suo Commune is divided into several sections–book zone, clothing zone, life zone, and a café. Designed by a group of renowned domestic and international designers, the layout of the bookstore drew inspirations from the classic style of European libraries and combined it with a modern design concept of space. More than 100 wooden book shelves of 3 meters high store nearly 90,000 books all together.

Most furniture and decorations adopt natural materials such as wood, bamboo, copper, steel and stone, in harmony with the natural theme of the store. There are other sparkling details. For example, all of the café menus are the shape of a book and a huge cylindrical "tree" between the clothing zone and the life zone is very eye-catching.

Readers are devouring books in the sotre.

Books of the store

Most of Fang Suo Commune's books are carefully selected by its chief advisor Liao Meili (廖美立), one of the founders of the successful bookstore - Eslite in Taiwan. Books about aesthetics like art, design, literature and culture account for 70% while the rest center around life, business and other topics. "We don't want to sell deep academic or practical reference books but focus on the ones in between, like those about culture. And we have also introduced some books about environmental protection and low-carbon life." Said Luo Meiling (罗玫玲), Fang Suo Commune's market planning manager.

Another distinctive feature is the domination of Taiwan-made books in the store. Luo said, "Instead of the mainstream mainland literature, Fang Suo Commune chose to present the interesting thinking and life style of Taiwanese through the books with Taiwan mark." Besides,  a large amount of authentic English books are also available here.

Delicate stationary and postcards are placed in the middle of books, catching the eyes of readers.

Other sides of the store

It's not only the various books and natural decoration that attract visitors, but also the delicate clothes and creative houseware. They also contribute to Fang Suo Commune's uniqueness. The clothing zone is on the left part of Fang Suo Commune. Most clothes are under the domestic brand EXCEPTION and have a simple and natural style.

Next to the clothing zone is the life zone. A variety of creative products are displayed here, such as household utensils, handicrafts, potted plants and stationary. Most of them are hand-made and produced by domestic and international designers. The household utensils - made of natural materials like ceramic, glass and brass - are very simple and exquisite.

In the middle is the café. The background of the bar counter is a big blackboard with some pictures of dandelions, poems and recommended coffee. Visitors can enjoy a cup of Cappuccino when they are tired. 

Many creative and exquisite products are being sold in the life zone.

Readers can relax in the café set in the middle of the store

Fang Suo Commune is trying to create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for readers by combing different life elements. Just what its name refers to.

MU floor, Taikoo Hui, No.388, Tianhe Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

Catagories: Books, Magazines, Clothes,  Houseware, Handicrafts, Stationary

Metro: Shipaiqiao Station, Line 1

(By Pan Hui, Richard Glauert)

Editor:Pan Hui
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