Hangzhou 2016 – Zhonghuge bookstore by X+Living studio is located in Hangzhou, within the bustling commercial center of Star Avenue, Binjiang District, adjacent to Qiantang River. The project is conceived around the idea that reading plays an essential role in society as much as breathing is vital to survive.
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The Zhonghuge bookstore is divided in four different areas: a pure white readers’ forest facing the street, a corridor with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with a theatrical readers’ hall and a kids room that was inspired by fun-park made of books.
The project features mirroring surfaces and ceilings that dramatically expand the view to a greater understanding of the importance of reading.
Visitors enter in a pure white space consisting of circular bookshelf pillars. “Under the reflection of ceiling mirror, they seem to have a conversation beyond time” say at X+Living to ArchiPanic.
Walking on the central axis of the forest zone, guests reach an oncoming quiet reading corridor that reminds Harry Potter libraries: thanks to a mirror ceiling, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves seam to extend endlessly.
Chandeliers floating soften the entire space like a firefly while darker and lighter-coloured shelves are orderly advanced or retreated, as changing mountains.
Guests crossing the corridor reach the a spacial “stairs reading area”. The circular skylight pours down from the ceiling mirror. Here, a theater “unfolds an outstanding drama, and the characters are book lovers sitting on the soft couch or standing beside the bookshelves”.
Shelves become steps while cushions with reading lamps offer the chance to rest, sit and read.
The children pavilion is conceived as a fun-park made of books in order to offer a happy reading experience. The bookshelves are arranged in the shape of a merry-go-round, roller-coasters, hot air balloons and even pirate ships. On the floor, galaxy maps not only inspire kids imagination, but they also teach them outer space geopgraphy.
“British novelist Somerset Maugham once said that acquiring the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life” comment at X+Living.
“Hangzhou store of Zhongshuge blends the definitions of books into every space by upholding the usual respect for books and knowledge. The project infuses the minds of readers with the sacred books by way of design. This is very important because in today’s distracting and harassing context, you still can find a place to rest your soul”.
All photos by Shao Feng – Courtesy of X+Living.
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