X+Living Takes Home a Best of Year Award for This Futuristic Bookstore
2021 Best of Year winner for Bookstore
The Dujiangyan irrigation system, a UNESCO World Heritage site just outside this southwestern city, might date back to the third century B.C., but its distinctive form has inspired chief designer Li Xiang and her team to create a startlingly futuristic 10,000-square-foot bookstore, which also borrows the water conduit’s name. Once past the glass doors, literary buffs find themselves face-to-face with a veritable cathedral of towering walnut bookcases, columns, and arches—a vertiginous effect that’s increased by mirror ceilings and highly reflective glossy-blackground-floor tiles. The booklined colonnades, which echo the historic dam, mark the way to more bibliophile delights while a spiraling staircase leads to a second-floor balcony with seating for reading or meeting. A children’s area on the street level offers scaled-down bookcases made of bamboo and decorated with pandas. While the rest of the store’s volumes—more than 80,000 in all—appear to fill the shelves up to the ceiling and beyond, the topmost rows are actually trompe l’oeil collections printed on film applied to the out-of-reach niches. The real books are easy to find, however: LED strips outlining the shelves, like roads on a map of an ancient city, chart the way.
Duoyun Books Turn to Wutopia Lab for its First Outpost Beyond Shanghai
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Best of Year Awards 2021
Interior Design celebrates design in all its forms with the 2021 Best of Year Awards. See the winner’s gallery here.
Beijing Zhongshuge Lafayette Store by X+Living: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Retail
Riffing on classical Chinese gardens, the bookshop reveals itself gradually, leading browsers from one carefully composed scene to the next.