With books rising into the darkness above glossy floors, the Dujiangyan Zhongshuge bookstore by X+Living in Chengdu, China is an achievement of inspirational design. Panda themes blend with weather-themed natural elements throughout to create the impression of a forest of bamboo shoots that comprise rolling arches and spires of bookshelves many stories tall. There are reading nooks perched high above the main floor, with books still stacked above and below you in every direction around every corner.

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“Surprising encounters with Fairyland: Push the glass curtain door open, the unique C-shape bookshelves with a natural walnut color will be in front of your eyes. The seemingly irregular sequence builds the intimacy of the space and becomes a highlight in the front hall,” described X+Living on their design. “Walking under the bookshelf is like walking alongside an outdoor eave, or stepping into a rolling mountain.”

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The city this bookstore inhabits has a 1,000-year history. The design of the building was created to both reflect and update that history with something both traditional and new. There is a children’s area that expands on the panda theme, a mirrored ceiling in the central literature area that creates an open feeling of sky and a bookshelf wall inspired by the Dujiangyan dam. Local weather is represented by various design elements. The overall impression is intended to be one of wandering through the local mountains in a mist.

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge is listed under cultural projects for architecture and design firm X+Living. X+Living was founded in 2011 by Chinese Architect Li Xiang. They are an international architectural design company focused on the pursuit of the perfect integration of artistic aesthetics and practical functions. X+Living takes “design creates value” as the core concept for every project, whether that is architecture or product design. Projects include parenting product design, hotel, office and retail. Their designs are over-the-top, dreamy and surreal.

If you have ever loved to get lost in a bookstore with a cup of coffee and a stack of new reads, this takes it to the next level. In fact, we’re a little jealous of this magnificent level of architectural detail for a bookstore we might never make it to see. If you can fit this one in on a trip or live in the area, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge is a feast for the eyes and the brain.

+ X+Living

Images via X+Living