Zhen Yuan, China is home to what must be one of the most incredible bookstores in the world today. Zangzhou Zhongshuge features an exterior that is as puzzling as it is breath-taking thanks to a fantastic optical illusion.
A series of tunnel-shaped rooms are fitted with curved bookshelves on the ceiling that are perfectly reflected onto the ground due to the black mirrored flooring that is installed. So, when anyone steps inside it gives the appearance of a perfectly circular room, which we imagine would be rather dizzying at first!
Thankfully, there is a simple way to navigate through the bookstore, with lightning bolt-shaped spaces fitted to the roof to ensure you know what way is up! By following these gaps, you can easily move throughout the store without getting lost in the myriad of books.
XL-Muse designed the interior of the bookstore, with the Shanghai based studio using the large body of water located nearby the bookstore as inspiration, with the mirrored-floors intended to resemble liquid.
“In the past, guided by water, many literati and poets visited and gathered here,” the group explains. “[The bridges] used to be the guiding factor of culture and commerce, and they represent that the bookstore is the bond between humans and books at the same time.”
The bookstore is resplendent throughout, although the tunnel-shaped entrance is certainly the one of the best design aspects. For instance, the spacious reading room is adorned with stunning white sculptures that also act as towering pillars, with selections of books nestled away in oval-shaped frames.
Meanwhile, the special pavilion for children feature a roof that mimics the night’s sky twinkling with stars while the remainder of the room features bursts of colour through various pieces of playful furniture.
It’s a wonderful place for a child (or adult!) to be lost in a world of imagination as they bury their head into their favourite books.