Futuristic Bookstore in China Inspired by the Celestial World

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

China is known for its futuristic bookstores and, thanks to Li Xiang of the design firm X+Living, a busy marketplace in the country's Jiangsu province has a new contemporary place to purchase books. Huai’an Zhongshuge's interior is brought to life by enormous three-dimensional structures that recall astronomical instruments.

Rising up, these celestial rings are true centerpieces of the store. The intertwined rings take over the space and are filled with images of books, which appear to defy gravity as they spiral toward the ceiling. “Miniaturized individuals wander within the instruments, tons of scattered books containing infinite worlds, glimpsing the mysteries of the cosmos,” writes the designer. “From antiquity to the present, humanity's exploration of outer space has never ceased—from the armillary sphere to space rockets, from stargazing to traversing the void, with books witnessing it all.”

Made from traditional wood materials, the gargantuan structures provide contrast to the large glass windows that give a view to the bustling city outside. Mirrored ceilings extend the environment, allowing visitors to truly immerse themselves and feel as though they are traveling through infinite space.

The space concept extends into the children's area, where colorful inset bookshelves in the forms of rockets, astronauts, and planets allow the imaginations of young readers to run wild. This inclusive design invites readers of all ages into the fantasy that X+Living has created.

The architectural space is like an extension of dreamlike reality, a spiritual revelation suspended in midair over the city—amidst the vast and boundless interstellar, individual vexations are as minute as specks of dust. Perhaps, within books, one can truly enter the pure inner cosmic universe.”

Design firm X+Living has created a futuristic bookstore in China's Jiangsu province.

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

Huai’an Zhongshuge's interior is brought to life by enormous three-dimensional structures that recall astronomical instruments.

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

Images of books along the structure appear to defy gravity with an aim to transport readers to outer space.

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

The goal also extends to young readers, who have a colorful and playful area of their own.

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

The wood materials contrast with the glass windows that create a dialogue between the fantastical interior and the bustling outside city.

Futuristic Bookstore in China by X+Living

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

X+Living Huai’an Zhongshuge Bookstore

X+Living: Website 

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by X+Living.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor 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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