Monalisa Bookstore

Merit: Retailing | Malaysia | BCI Asia Interior Design Awards 2019

This Feng Shui-inspired project seeks to offer a different bookstore experience to expand readers’ knowledge of Chinese culture, literature and dialects. Housed in two three-storey shop units, the bookstore offers a variety of timeless and welcoming spaces, including an event room, office space and in-house cafés at each floor.

The interior is dominated by warm textures, rich wood tones and subtle earthy shades, with touches of brass and reflective surfaces selectively placed to enhance the overall ambience.

The various book display areas are separated by category and different types of flooring that help guide customers visually. On the highest floor, there is a reading zone for kids and teenagers, as well as a second-hand books area. A notable display is the six Stonehenge-inspired book towers in the architecture books section.

Book display units of different heights are used, with lower units at the aisles and entrances and taller shelves along the perimeter. Some custom-designed book display units double as staircase railings or barriers. Wallpaper with Chinese grid paper motifs line the walls, while table lamps and built-in strip lights help soften the interior atmosphere.

Loose furniture and an open-style floor plan allow for a variety of seating configurations in the event area, which can be used for book readings, seminars, talks and activities. A circular rug in middle of the room mimics the ceiling design and gives the space a pop of colour and character.

The Feng Shui-inspired cashier counters each sport a different look, such as the lightning bolt-shaped counter on the ground floor. The location, angle, colour and materials used carry its own special significance.

Each in-house café has its distinctive theme, such as the Nyonya café at the ground floor, the Japanese-themed café on the first floor and the dessert-centric café on the highest floor.

Project Name: Monalisa Bookstore
Location: Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Completion Date: June 2018
Gross Floor Area: 8,600 square feet
Building Height: 3 storeys
Client/Owner: Liew Wei Chyan
Interior Design Firm: Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd
Main Contractor: Ornamental Details & Aesthetic Sdn Bhd
Images: Gavinyam Studio

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