Shanghai, a bookstore inspired by mountains and secret caves

Stone walls, niches and corners reminiscent of nature: designed by Wutopia Lab, the mysterious spaces of Toyou Bookstore combine the past and future of Chinese culture. 

Quickly emerging as one of the most popular bookshops in Shanghai, Toyou Bookstore is not only a place to buy books but a cultural hub. The bookstore is located in the city’s Huangpu District, inside The Roof building by Jean Nouvel, and also includes a bar area, a study room and secret spaces.

Designed by Wutopia Lab for the CIFI Group, the bookshop takes its name and inspiration from two mountains, the Big You Mountain and the Little You Mountain, where scholars once hid the books Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered to burn. A symbolic link between the past and future of Chinese culture. The bookstore is divided into two main areas: at the entrance, a wall made of white artificial stone panels – reference to Little You Mountain – leads to the area dedicated to new releases and most widely read books. 

The rest of the space is a reference to the Big You Mountain: corners, seats and niches made from continuous panels of perforated, earth-coloured aluminium represent the mountain’s inner caves. In between the two spaces is a secret, circular place: the owner’s private room. 

Toyou Bookstore
Shanghai, China
Wutopia Lab
Lin Feng (CIFI Group creative director)
Chief Architect:
Ting Yu
Project manager:
Shengrui Pu
Project architect:
Siqi Yang
Design team:
Yuchen Guo, Beidi Zhan
Lighting Consultant:
Chloe Zhang
CIFI Group
452 sqm

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