600 days to build this new library designed by Wutopia Lab in the ancient and historic city of Xi’an, capital for thirteen dynasties, and reminiscent of the shape of a cloud in the sky. This new home of the Chinese bookstore chain Zhongshou is much more than a new place of cultural enjoyment, but represents the great urban revival that the city of Xi’an is experiencing. The bright entrance is on the fourth floor of a shopping center. It is totally white, has a curvilinear staircase without a column that accompanies the customer to the fifth floor, and consists of reading islands for the public and shelves full of advice on the best books. The designers write: “We decided to create a paradise of reading beyond the clouds, which would encourage the spirit of the reader’s knowledge”.
The shelves are made of highly customizable 5 mm thick steel sheets, defined through precise computer programming and then assembled on site based on the numbers. There is a plasticized steel bookcase over 3000 meters long that floats in the air. One of ten levels, without edges. Then the recommended books seem suspended in a vacuum, the floor is glass, replicating the mirror of water. In the common reading room there is a “pantheon”, and there is also a small conference room in the space underneath. The book of the month is arranged on an ad hoc structure and can be viewed by one person at a time. Finally there is a library for children in a crystal structure, with playful corridors and entertainment in the form of caves, starry skies and other animals. The bookstore blends with the cinema and the cafe restaurant.
- Zhongshu Bookstore
- Wutopia Lab
- CreatAR Images