Futuristic Bookstore in China Designed to Bring Readers Into a Cloud

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

Xi'an, an ancient Chinese city known as the home of the Terracotta Warriors, has gotten a dose of modernity thanks to a new bookstore. Designed by Shanghai-based Wutopia Lab, the futuristic interior of the Zhongshu Bookstore was created using nearly 10,000 feet of curved steel bookcases to show off the reading materials.

The white interior, which is filled with curves to soften the space, includes a children's library and public reading room. Situated on the fourth floor of a department store, the bookstore is entered via a pillarless staircase that spirals around as visitors ascend, allowing them to get a full view of the bookshelves. In this spirit, the architects wished to create a cloud environment, where the books would appear to float and visitors would have their curiosity stimulated.

“The design and construction of Zhongshu Bookstore which lasted 600 days is not only the transcendence of Zhongshu Bookstore itself, but also represents the great urban revival that Xi’an is currently experiencing,” the architects write. “The whitest bookstore is filled with various kinds of ancient souls of various temperatures with pure thoughts, memories, and hopes.”

Materials like translucent acrylic and glass flooring enhance the light, airy feeling of the space which is only punctuated by decorative silhouettes in the children's library. And while the use of all white could seem cold, Wutopia Lab manages to create an inviting environment that allows readers to experience the space without visual clutter. In this way, the books are the true stars of the interior.

The Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an was created to mimic a cloud environment where the books appear to float in the air.

Contemporary Bookstore in China

Contemporary Staircase at Zhongshu Bookstore

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

The curved, steel bookshelves were designed using 3D mapping to ensure they hug every corner of the interior.

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

Futuristic Bookstore in China

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

Zhongshu Bookstore in Xi'an by Wutopia Labs

Zhongshu Bookstore Interior

Wutopia Lab: Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Archdaily]

All images via CreatAR Images.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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