They say that a book is special because it can take you places. But stepping inside this incredible bookstore in China can bring you in an alternate universe, even before you get to open a book. With its astonishing architecture, fascinating optical illusion, and magical ambiance, this one-of-a-kind bookstore is every bookworms’ paradise!
The Zhong Shuge Bookstore, located in Chongqing, China, is a two-story book shop designed by the reputable architectural design firm ‘X+Living‘. The creative minds behind the firm cleverly utilized mirrors, staircases, reflective ceilings, shapes, and even book covers to conceive a surreal and extra-spacious reading nook.
The entrance of the bookstore is simple but smart. The glass façade is embellished with scriptures about wisdom and learning. Meanwhile, its transparency offers a glimpse of the unbelievable world awaiting its visitors.
Inside the book shop, visitors are welcomed with an extraordinary sight. The lobby features lampshade-shaped bookshelves which seemingly defy gravity. Due to the color and irregular shape of the wooden shelves, it appears light and weightless. On the other hand, the black reflective floor and ceiling give an illusion of never-ending space.
The revolutionary ‘lampshade bookshelves’ are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Each lampshade has a space allotted for those who want to read on the spot. Its warm and cozy fixtures also help the readers to focus on what they are reading.
The ‘lampshade bookshelves’ are, but the tip of the iceberg for there are still several beautiful sights up the sleeves of Zhong Shuge bookstore.
The main study hall of the Zhong Shuge bookstore will surely boggle and blow your mind at the same time. The books are housed in giant bookshelves that also serve as a staircase. And these staircases together with its railings form beautiful geometric shapes. While the mirrored ceiling makes the study hall appear like an endless maze.
The black handrails and transparent glass railings certainly helped in achieving the seamless illusion of the study hall.
The infinite design achieved through reflections, mathematically inspired woodcuts, and overwhelming symmetry of the bookstore can make visitors experience how it is like to be inside the works of the great artist, M.C. Escher.
Adults are not the only one who will enjoy this bookstore because Zhong Shuge also has a corner for children. Unlike the previous lobbies, the floor and the walls of the children’s corner are painted with a fun pop of colors. The shelves take a variety of shapes like houses, cars, mountains, and clouds. While the pink floor is decorated with a big world map.
Just like the other lobbies, the children’s nook also has a mirrored ceiling which doubles its appeal and charm. The fun pop of colors, variety of shapes, and wide collection of books make this bookstore an ideal place to develop the kids love for reading.
This surreal and enchanting bookstore in Chongqing, China, is a far cry from the usual book shops. Its incredible architecture and optical illusion not only satisfy book cravings but also satiates the eyes. Taking a step inside this store will surely remind one why reading is a wonderful and immersive experience!
Watch the video below to appreciate the mind blowing architecture of Zhong Shuge’s main hall.