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Yangzhou Zhongshuge Library by XL-Muse


Shanghai studio XL-Muse has recently completed ‘Yangzhou Zhongshuge’, a library located in Zhen Yuan, China.  The designers took inspiration from the store’s waterside location, as well as the area’s arched bridges.

 Walking  into the front door of Zhongshuge, it is the lobby. Through using the concept of arch bridge, the designer extends the visual sign of  world of books. Rivers on the floor and in the sky which flow forward lead readers to go deeper into the vast ocean of knowledge.  Bookshelves on the two sides extend the shape of the skyline with graceful arcs, just like a bridge over the streams setting up the bridge of mind between readers and books. Keep walking forward and you will find a broader land of books on your right side.


Through studying the relationship between arc bridge and river, the designer got a mirrored space relationship. The designer used all kinds of arch to connect all areas,giving a sense of shock to every reader who comes into this space. And the  sense of mystery created by the soft light makes all readers thinking of the river under the bridge sparkling in the sun; it helps them to enjoy the happiness of reading with a peaceful mood. The wavy space maintains enough room for readers to sit and share ideas together during reading activity.


The  children’s Picture Book Pavilion is right opposite to the study. Bookshelves are built in the form of disassembled and movable toys  to reflect the naive nature of kids. The bottom part of the bookshelves on the wall could be taken off from the wall and used as book display table. When room is needed, they could be put back into the bookshelves and form the pattern  of city view which carries the culture of street view of Yangzhou. The whole space is liven up by these vivid colors.

Once the kids come into this space, they will feel like being in a cartoon-versioned Yangzhou. Going out from a corner of the children’s Picture Book Pavilion you will find an exquisite  toyshop , where all kinds of school things for adults and kids are displayed neatly. This is the rich and varied Yangzhou Zhongshuge that inheriting the cultural stories of Yangzhou.

The studio previously created an oval reading room with stepped shelving for a branch in Hangzhou.

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all images courtesy of XL-Muse