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.