Chongqing Zhongshuge by X+Living: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Bookstore
Shoppers enter a fantasy world at the trippy Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore in China, X+Living creative director Li Xiang’s eighth project for the client. The space is large—occupying two floors and nearly 14,000 square feet—but looks twice that courtesy of strategically placed mirrors that conjure the illusion of never-ending stacks.
Patrons enter a dark and moody “study” outfitted with tapering bookcases, some of which hang from the looking-glass ceiling and curl around brass floor lamps to mimic lampshades. Beyond are a kids’ reading area with storybook built-ins and a shelf-lined corridor with reflective flooring that creates the effect of a tunnel of tomes. In between these two zones is a double-height “ladder hall.”
Staircases zigzagging up each side incorporate display space, and a mirrored ceiling here, too, doubles the sense of volume. A portal in the upper mezzanine’s bookcase wall permits access to a café-lounge and an adjacent library devoted to the works of influential thinkers. At Zhongshuge, reading is no solitary pursuit: “We hope visitors not only discover new books,” Li says, “but also new friends with the same interests.”
Project Team: Liu Huan.