China. A cloud-shaped bookstore brings the city back to life

All white, designed by Wutopia Lab, this new bookstore in the heart of China represents the (cultural) revival of the ancient city.

 Zhongshu  Bookstore, Xi'an, foto CreatAR  Images

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

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