November 21, 2020

Stay Awhile in These 12 Libraries and Bookstores

Discover exceptional bookstore design in these captivating libraries and bookstores, blending striking interiors and memorable literary adventures.

Literary Paradise: 12 Stunning Libraries and Bookstores

1. Chongqing Zhongshuge by X+Living: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Bookstore

a bookstore with a mirrored ceiling reflecting the books on the shelves
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. Photography by Wison Tungthunya/W Workspace.

2. Architecture Library, Chulalongkorn University by Department of Architecture Co.: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Library

a bookstore with a steel grid shelving system
A steel grid system adds maximum flexibility, there to serve whatever needs arise. Photography by Wison Tungthunya/W Workspace.

3. The Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library Reinterprets Historic West Coast Architectural Styles

a bookstore with curving cutouts around a staircase and a matching shaped skylight
The skylight echoes the shape of the staircase, its treads and risers sheathed in porcelain tile. Photography by Eric Laignel.

4. Wutopia Lab Creates a Reader’s Paradise in Xi’an, China

a bright white bookstore with snake-like leds trailing through the ceiling
Recessed LEDs snake across the ceiling at the Zhongshuge bookstore.Photography by Creatar Images.

5. Michael K Chen Transforms Bronx Choir Loft Into Library for Underprivileged Children

a library for underprivileged children feating a room-long bookcase with rounded ends
The custom white-oak bookcase, Schoolhouse Electric pendant fixtures, and Proba rug, were all donated. Photography by Alan Tansey.

6. Panorama Design Group Creates a Playful Kids Bookshop in Chengdu

a blue archway leads to a children's area inside a bookstore
Blue archways in Chengdu’s Kids Winshare bookstore lead to a baking classroom with butter-yellow walls and custom furnishings. Photography by Ng Siu Fung.

7. Sinan Books in Shanghai by Wutopia Lab Brings the Drama

a cathedral-like room holds shelves of books in this ethereal bookstore
A 45-ton custom steel shelving system conforms to the domed interior and accommodates 1,000 volumes of international poetry, the now-bookstore’s specialty. Photography by CreatAR Images.

8. Kinzo Architekten Thinks Like a Startup for AmorePacific Headquarters

a cosmetic company's headquarters with staggered stair seating that holds books underneath
OSB forms shelves and seating in the library at the cosmetic company’s headquarters. Photography by Schnepp Renou.

9. FGP Atelier’s Oversize Skylight for a Mexico University Library Sparks Wonder

multiple levels of a university library can be seen in front of glass walled sections
The six­ story library was designed in 2017 by Sasaki Associates with an open ­air central atrium; for the new skylight, rather than use glass, FGP Atelier chose a single ­layer membrane of ETFE, the first known use of the lightweight yet durable material in Mexico. Photography courtesy of FGP Atelier.

10. Kikuchi City Central Library by Nomura Co., LTD.: 2018 Best of Year Winner for Library

a library with cutouts between shelves for sitting and reading
For this library in Kumamoto, Japan, Kazunobu Nakamura conceived a system of curved shelves to evoke the Kikuchi River, which runs through the city, located on the island of Kyushu. Photography by Atsushi Ishida.

11. National Museum of Qatar Gift Shop by Koichi Takada Architects: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Mixed Retail

inside the National Museum of Qatar's gift shop, where shelves stack like gypsum crystals
It was Qatar’s Dahl Al Misfir, a wondrous cave of gypsum crystals, that provided inspiration for the shops—one for children, another for adults, together totaling 1,195 square feet. Photography by Tom Ferguson.

12. MVRDV’s Tianjin Binhai Library Goes Viral

a library's main hall where thousands of books are available for browsing
The five-story main hall is the centerpiece of the Tianjin Binhai Library in China by MVRDV. Photography by Ossip van Duivenbode.

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