Lafonce • Maxone — A Free Hall of Knowledge / by Gonverge Interior Design

Located at the center of China, Xi’an has been the capital of multiple dynasties for over 1,000 years and formed a profound cultural system. And it is now bearing the mission for the renaissance of the Chinese civilization and cultural confidence as an important place for education. Such background endows the city with the capability to incubate cultural and creative projects and pioneer in the culture and commerce integration.

The project is a bookstore-themed commercial complex, which offers lifestyle aesthetic experience with multiple business forms via a “culture + commerce” design strategy. The 18m-high and 240m-long artistic book walls in it are striking and pioneering, bringing a brand-new image of urban commercial space to Xi’an and even China.

Turning commonness into advantage by making use of site characteristics

The project is situated at an industrial area in the northern suburbs of Xi’an, which doesn’t enjoy large human flow volume and prosperous commerce. Therefore, the conventional compound operation mode is clearly inadequate to attract customers. As Gonverge Interior Design took over the project, the roughcast architecture had been idle for 3 years. By making use of site conditions, the designers strove to present the strength and beauty of the original undecorated architectural structure, with natural light brought in.

Based on the long and narrow site in south-north direction and the four-storey-high daylighting void area, Gonverge Interior Design carried out project orientation planning as well as commercial and spatial design with five-sensory experience as the main axis. The designers kept the advantage of the original void area, with a view to producing a strong experiential sense of space. Besides, they strengthened and highlighted the features of the slender and long site, and created a smooth circulation with a sense of formality.

Long book walls: unique identifier of the mall

According to Han-Sheng Cheng, the chief designer, it’s imperative to depend on culture to go beyond geographical restrictions and gather people, because culture itself does not have geographical distance and can attract the participation of all people, thus maximizing the flow of customers. Based on such idea, the mall was designed to be a hall of knowledge, with art and literature as the core and the theme of “book” running through the entire space.

Gonverge Interior Design embedded two book walls under the diffused natural light, which are erected from 1F to 4F and stretch from south to north. With a height of 18m and total length of 240m ranking top in China, the book walls give the busy commercial space a sense of rituality, which is striking and magnificent, just like a hall.

People-oriented and delivering value through five senses

With hundreds of thousands of books placed in, the two large walls are constructed with steel structures and transparent glass, which enables people to see through and also allows the light randomly diffuse to the void area to interact with the spatial entities in various forms. Readers can walk between the book walls and void area, which becomes a unique scene in this hall.

The nearly 40,000m2 space combines the elements of art, culture and lifestyle, perfectly integrates scene-based reading and commercial functions, and creates an immersive reading environment. It’s a place enables sharing of feelings based on aesthetic, making it the best platform for cultural, creative and designer brands to display their creativity and ideas.

Project name: LAFONCEï½¥MAXONE Interior design: Gonverge Interior Design (
Spatial Design & Commercial Planning Director: Han-Sheng Cheng
Designers: Hsin-Hsuan Lu, Xin-Qiang Chen
Location: Xi’an, China
Project category: cultural & commercial complex (shopping mall + bookstore)
Area: 36,000 m2
Completion time: December 2018
Photographer: Weiqi Jin

Gonverge Interior Design | Profile

Gonverge Interior Design is from Taipei, which integrates creativity, efficient execution and diverse cultural backgrounds and strives to convey a universal humanistic spirit via cultural & creative spaces in commercial fields. Based on incisive analysis as well as insightful and forward-looking positioning, it excels at endowing commercial spaces with the potential for profit making and sustainable operation, and has so far completed a series of “commercial + cultural & creative” landmark projects that are rooted in local context and go beyond geographic restrictions.

Han-Sheng Cheng, Founder, Spatial Design & Commercial Planning Director 
Boasting 25 years of practical experience in the realm of traditional commerce, controlling over all aspects of projects with the roles of consultant, planner and designer, and leading the team to look ahead and keep up with the world.

Hsin-Hsuan Lu, Design Director
Sticking to a people-oriented and sensory experiences-based design approach, working to explore and maximize the connection between the space and people.

Xin-Qiang Chen, Design Director
Advocating to convey “the elements and value of world view” through spatial entities such as materials, proportions and scales.

Leave a Reply