A Surrealist Nature Inspired Bookstore You Will Love to See!

This unique bookstore is converting interior design lovers into bookworms! The Dujiangyan Zhongshuge bookstore is comprised of organic materials and rounded shapes to imitate nature. Chinese architect and founder of X+Living, Li Xiang, took inspiration from the Dujiangyan Dam’s curved anatomy to create the flowing floor plan and C-Shaped bookshelves. The intention of the designer was to spark conversation on environmentalism. Further, Xiang’s combination of mirrored walls and ceilings with top to bottom shelving gives the space a taller and wider appearance. Every detail of this design embraces the essence of a forest and river scene.

unique bookstore design by li xiang china dujiangyan dam bookshop

All About The Details

Xiang’s attention to detail shines throughout the design of this unique bookstore. The materials used to make the it are no exception. Firstly, the eye-catching bookshelves feature a natural walnut color and strip lighting on every shelf. These bookshelves act as room dividers, effortlessly flowing throughout the store. Then, the black tile flooring emulates water moving along with the layout. Though they are not as reflective as the mirrored ceiling, the black tiles do cast a reflection like water. Finally, the rounded book tables work in harmony with the reflective flooring to give the illusion of boats floating in water. Each of these elements combined is what makes the design of the bookstore so mesmerizing.

While Xiang is known for her surrealist interiors, functionality is important for commercial design. Functionality in this space is improved by book patterned film on higher shelves that are out of reach. The books on the lower shelves are for sale and available for customers. This feature allows customers to shop without needing ladders.

unique bookstore design by li xiang china dujiangyan dam bookshop

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Notable Features

At the top of the staircase, you will find a lofted reading area. This seating accommodates guests to read at their leisure while enjoying a higher perspective of the room. The nature-inspired vision comes alive while looking at the space from the balcony.

A small children’s reading area hides in the curves of the bookshelves. This vibrant space features shelving shaped like bamboo, pandas, and traditional Chinese architecture. Incorporating these playful design elements continues the theme of nature but through a child’s perspective. The cushions in the children’s reading area serve both as chair seating as well as floor seating which caters to children’s creativity and encourages them to learn while visiting.

nature inspired bookstore china li xiang design

Meet Designer Li Xiang

Designing the Dujiangyan Zhongshuge was a massive undertaking for the international architectural design company, Weixiang International. Chinese architect, Li Xiang, founded  X+Living in 2011 while focusing on creativity and functionality in her designs. Weixiang International creates visually interesting commercial spaces increases value and foot traffic to all its projects. Li Xiang has reimagined the industry’s standards for hotels, offices, retail, cultural, commercial, and other diversified business sectors. And we are huge fans! See Li in Love Happens’ list of the Most Powerful Women in Design and the Most Fashionable Women in Interior Design. We look forward to seeing what she and X+Living come up with next!

Words by Sarah Swinski
All Photos by SFAP


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