When you see a fabulous new bookstore such as this one in Chongqing, China, you just know there’s life after Kindle.
Contrary to predictions, books have not been vanquished by the digital age, and the joy of browsing through a great bookstore is still on the agenda.
This project also offers a very cool architectural experience. The Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore was designed by X+Living, with the design team saying the project reflects the way the city itself is “full of surprises and wonderful and charming corners”.
The design takes its cue from a traditional, dark-panelled study – there are freestanding bookshelves in the lobby that are reminiscent of giant lampshades. And in the “leisure room”, where customers can linger over a coffee, there are scattered booths that create intimate reading areas enclosed by the curving form of “lampshade” partitions.
“Visitors can feel as though they are in a bright private study when they read in the warm light projected from inside the lampshades,” says one of the designers.
However, the most astonishing space within the store is the main study, or “ladder hall”, where the stairs form part of the bookshelves, and the mirrored ceiling doubles the apparent size of the extraordinary space.
Other areas include a colourful children’s reading room where some of the bookshelves are curved. Here again, a mirrored ceiling adds an extra dimension, “filling in” the symmetry so the ceiling appears to be the floor and vice versa.
There is also a quiet reading corridor that forms a “tunnel of books” that invites readers to keep on exploring.
The designers say the store is not just a place to find books and gather knowledge – it’s also a place to meet friends with the same interests.
- This story was originally published on stuff.co.nz