Despite the strange designs of many bookstores around the world, the Zhongshuge Library in Shenzhen, China, may be the strangest of all.
The hallmark of the newly opened library in southern China is the massive spiral staircase that winds around it, but customers can’t climb it.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the winding staircase, which features an ornate handrail, is in fact a fictional bookshelf.
Chinese designer Li Xiang, owner of the Shanghai-based company in charge of designing the library, is behind the design of both the library and the fictional spiral staircase, which is divided into 4 separate spaces: a “concept” area, a “forum” area, a reading bay for children, and a hall for conferences.
According to a statement from the company that designed the library, the staircase (the bookshelf) runs in a curved path through the entire concept area, connecting to the entrance and exit, and providing ease of picking up books along the way.
As for the reading area for children, it is a space colored in pastel colors and cartoon shapes, which aims to evoke “colorful and joyful memories”.
Explaining the story behind the design, Chiang said, “In the process of researching the cultural background of this city, I realized that I could design a space that could become a symbol of Shenzhen itself as an inclusive and vibrant city. A salute to all who struggled to make history in it.” .
Zhongshuge Bookstores is a chain of bookstores across China, famous for their fantasy interiors, and was founded by book publisher Jin Hao since 2010.
X + Living Studios have designed in more than 20 of the Library Series buildings, creating spaces with unique and impressive interiors.