Tunnel of Books: Shelves Wrap Curved Bookstore Walls & Ceiling

Paired to fantastic effect, a series of arch-forming shelving units and a black-mirrored floor create a wraparound tunnel in a Chinese bookstore, punctuated by a fracture leading visitors through the resulting passageway.

book tunnel front view

book tunnel side view

Designed by Shanghai studio XL-Muse (images Shao Feng), these floor-to-ceiling shelves in the Yangzhou Zhongshuge bookshop drew inspiration from the winding and reflective Zhen Yuan river nearby, as well as the area’s arched bridges.

book cavernouse i interior

book curved reading room

book meeting space

“In the past, guided by water, many literati and poets visited and gathered here,” said XL-Muse, and these regional infrastructural icons were “used to be the guiding factor of culture and commerce, and they represent that the bookstore is the bond between humans and books at the same time.”

book wrapping volumes

book side view

book reader

The tunnel opens up into a vast library-worth realm of further reading in the cavernous interior, with architectural elements echoing the arches of the entry corridor. The rounded-and-arched theme is carried through in thin pillars and sloping displays.

book children reading

book kids space

Additional interior design dimensions come into play in themed reading spaces for children and adults, with starry ceilings and other humanizing elements. Here, furniture colors and shapes soften these spaces and make them more comfortable and inviting for longer-term occupation.