The newest of China’s surreal mirrored bookstores is now open in Chongqing, offering a disorienting, Escher-like experience to all who enter. Designed by X+Living, the Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore leads visitors through an unassuming glass facade on the third floor of Zodi Plaza and into a reflective maze full of reading materials waiting to be discovered.
Within the lobby is an arrangement of lampshade-shaped bookshelves that curve around illuminated reading spaces, their mirror images on the ceiling making them look much taller than they really are. “The bookshelves reflect on the ground and form a tunnel of books that beckons visitors to follow it deeper into space and knowledge,” says X+Living.
Further down the hallway, a “ladder hall” offers three levels of bookshelves accessed by branching staircases. The mirrors make it difficult to tell where the real shelves end and the reflections begin, but the space would be marvelous even without them. An adjacent children’s room is brighter in color, but similarly disorienting.
“Up to the 4th floor from the ‘ladder hall”’is a leisure area, where visitors can enjoy the aroma of coffee or a taste of good tea and immerse themselves into a tranquil world of different stories by reading. The ‘lampshade-shaped bookshelves’ around create scattered booths at this area, in which visitors may gather with friends to have fun reading and enjoy their leisure time. Connected to the leisure area is the extensive reading hall, where works of great minds are listed and visitors are able to broaden their eyes and enrich their spiritual world.”
Previously, the same studio designed floor-to-ceiling curved and mirrored bookshelves at the Yangzhou Zhongshuge bookshop, creating the effect of a tunnel of books. Check it out here.