There’s nothing like losing yourself in a good bookstore. That’s especially true when the bookstore is the Dujiangyan Zhongshuge in Chengdu, China. Designed by Shanghai architecture firm X+Living, the store has a cathedral-like structure, with mirrored ceilings and black tile floors reflecting the majestic design elements and seemingly stretching them upwards to an immense size. The curved bookcases create a series of intimate alcove-like spaces, and towering arches and columns imbue a sense of the sacred.
On Instagram, Li Xiang, founder of X+Living, explained, “The inspiration [for the design of the bookstore] came from the magnificent Dujiangyan dam, you can tell that by the shape of the bookshelves, they are just like a super city wall built with historical culture. By creating a scenery and using the technique of architecture, we moved the magnificent spirit of mountains and rivers into the indoor space, presenting readers with elegant and powerful artistic landscapes.”
And this is no mom-and-pop bookshop. It contains over 80,000 books in more than 20,000 categories. There’s a cafe and children’s area on the first floor, while the second floor has seating for visitors to read and work, making use of the entire 10,400-square-foot space.
X+Living has thought of every detail thoroughly, with fake books on the higher shelves to give visitors the impression that the books are everywhere, reaching to the heavens. All actual books are within easy reach.