Chongqing Zhongshuge by X+Living
Staircase to (Book) Heaven
Some people think bookstores are relics from the past, but Chinese bookstore chain Zhongshuge is out to prove the naysayers wrong with stores featuring breathtaking interiors. Its latest branch in Chongqing is no exception.
Designed by Li Xiang at X+Living, the 1,300 square metre Chongqing Zhongshuge is divided into various different but equally spectacular zones. These include a lobby with bell-shaped suspended bookshelves which cleverly provide semi-enclosed reading spaces. This design is reprised in the leisure area, where comfy booths are enclosed in conical pods. The children's area is awash in candy hues of pink and turquoise, the landscape-shaped bookshelves and automobile-shaped display units sure to stir the imagination of the little ones.
However, the pièce de résistance has to be the central hall, an extravagant four-storey space lined with bookshelves and multi-directional staircases that recall the "impossible" drawings of Dutch artist MC Escher. The visual impact is supercharged by the mirrored ceiling and atmospheric lighting, creating a mind-boggling spectacle which could have come straight from the movie Inception.
This hugely inspiring space will no doubt become a hotspot for book lovers, design aficionados and Instagrammers alike, evidence that there is still some life left in bookstores.
The Storylines shelf from Frederik Roije is a great way to create storage space on your walls. No space for shelves? Try the Book Shelves wallpaper from Mind The Gap. The Doc concrete magazine rack from Lyon Beton would make a great gift for keen readers.