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This bookstore in China has an iconic Escher-like effect
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This bookstore in China has an iconic Escher-like effect.

The Chongqing Zhongshuge bookstore by Shanghai-based firm X+living celebrates the landscape and historical sites of its namesake Chinese city, Chongqing. The two-floor store invites visitors into a theatrical interior, typical of the studio’s design approach, packed with lampshade-shaped bookshelves, an Escher-like reading area, and a colorful children’s room with drawings of the city’s landscape, buildings and transportation. 

Located on the 3rd and 4th floor of Zodi Plaza, Yangjiaping, X+living‘s Chongqing Zhongshuge bookstore greets customers with a simple glass facade. Inside, the dark brown lobby incorporates scattered lampshade-shaped bookshelves that project light from inside the shades, recreating the feeling of being in a bright and warm private study. A quiet reading corridor is located on one corner of the lobby, with bookshelves extending down the hallway that reflect on the ground and form a tunnel of books, drawing visitors deeper “into the space and knowledge”.

On the other corner of the lobby is the children’s reading room, where colorful bookshelves with drawings of Chongqing’s landscape, buildings and transportation make kids feel immersed in the charming city while reading.

Further down the corridor is the main study: a “ladder hall” where the Escher-like stairs double as bookshelves and the mirrored ceiling multiplies the size of the already vast room. Up to the 4th floor from the hall is a leisure area, where visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and immerse themselves into a tranquil world of different stories by reading.

The recurring “lampshade-shaped bookshelves” create scattered booths at this area, where people can spend time together and enjoy each others’ company.


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