Architecture practice HCCH Studio designed the aptly named Twisted Brick Shell Library in Longyou County, China, to embrace visitors. It’s a multifunctional space where guests are encouraged to relax, read, or commune with their natural surroundings. 

Aerial views showed this pavilion situated on an area of farmland separated from the nearby Quzhou City by the Quijiang River resembling the shape of a shell. Its abstract form is inspired by its agricultural terrain, where it sits between urban and rural settings. Its shape comprises of two brick hemispheres joined by a twisting section of wall constructed from perforated steel plates and concrete cast in situ.

A paved brick road on the south leads to one end of Twisted Brick Shell Library, while the north is mirrored by a short brick terrace. The interior of the pavilion is lined with a datum of 24 small acrylic domes installed at eye level. Each dome includes inscriptions of “visual poetry” by Japanese artist Yoichiro Otani. 

Then below these domes are concrete-framed openings that provide further views of the landscape above a brick bench that serves as the seating surrounding half of the interior.  HCCH Studio founder Hao Chen told Dezeen that the pavilion’s abstract, revolving space is designed to “cuddle visitors in the wide-open field like a spiritual shelter.” 

“The structure is in a semi-rural area very close to a town. You can strongly feel the approaching of urbanization on this seemingly still idyllic area. That’s why we propose a semi-fabricated, semi-handmade way of construction, to reflect this reality,” he shared. Chen said locals found the shape of the Twisted Brick Shell Library odd because it contradicts with its dense agricultural surroundings. But the brick material is widely used in China’s rural area so it pays homage to the local red soil.

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Images courtesy of Qingyan Zhu/HCCH Studio