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A seemingly never-ending landscape of bookshelves, spiraling staircases, mirrored ceilings and reflective black tile flooring cleverly combine to immerse visitors into an M.C. Escher-like realm at the Dujiangyan Zhongshuge bookstore.
Located in Chendu, China, the surreal space was designed by Shanghai-based architecture firm X+Living to encourage book lovers to wander through and linger in the dream-like environment.
Local topography inspired the design, with C-shaped bookcases made from natural walnut spaced irregularly to create a series of intimate spaces. Archways pave unique paths of discovery through the winding bookshelves, while a mirrored ceiling visually expands the space.
On high-up, inaccessible shelving, the design firm used film printed with books to simulate the endless stacks of novels cascading from ceiling to floor. Still, there are approximately 80,000 volumes within reach for shoppers to peruse.
The store also features a café and a children’s area on the first floor, and casual seating areas on the second floor.
Natural elements influence much of the design, with the bookshelf wall inspired by the Dujiangyan dam, extending upward like an ancient city wall. Adding further reflection and dimension to the space, black tile flooring creates the effect of a body of water, making the book tables resemble boats floating on a lake.
The result is an otherworldly, nature-inspired atmosphere where bookworms can happily get lost.