With the aim to create the most beautiful reading experience, Shanghai studio XL-Muse has designed a mesmerizing interior for this bookshop in Hangzhou, China. Zhongshuge-Hangzhou store is located within the bustling commercial center of Star Avenue in Binjiang District.

The first space opens up onto the forest gallery, a pure white space consisting of circular bookshelf pillars escape the shackles of the surrounding environment. These white pillars carrying books rise up straight to the sky. Under the reflection of ceiling mirror, they seem to have a conversation beyond time. Additionally, the wall mirror doubles the transverse dimension to enable the whole book spaces to seem unbounded as the real nature. The ceiling is decorated with small lights that are dancing joyfully as the elves guarding the forest.


Walking on the central axis of the forest zone and walking through a doorway as guided by the lights to the border of light and shade, we transit from the lightness to the profound main hall of Zhongshuge – an oncoming quiet reading corridor. Here, the entire bookshelf extends endlessly to the side. The darker and lighter-colored shelves are orderly advanced or retreated, as changing mountains or unattainable ladders or fortitude upright spines to silently convey the power of knowledge to us. The chandeliers floating in the ceiling mirror softens the entire space like a firefly. People under the lights, recollect the aromatic coffee or mediate in the world of books.


Cross the corridor is the stair reading area. The circular skylight pours down from the ceiling mirror, and the encircling bookshelves look like the swirling lamp belt. Here is a theater to unfold an outstanding drama, and the characters are book lovers sitting on the soft couch or standing beside the bookshelves. In the stair study, people can read or hold the reading party for book lovers to sit around.


In the Hangzhou Zhongshuge, there is a children pavilion, which is a book playground. The designer arts bookshelves as playground facilities including merry-go-round, roller coaster, hot air balloons and pirate ships to give children a happy reading experience as if playing in the playground, while the floor of galaxy maps not only inspires the imagination of children and also interestingly educate them the knowledge of galaxy.

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all images © Shao Feng