Dujiangyan Zhongshuge, a bookstore in Dujiangyan, China, relies on strategically placed mirrors and gleaming black tile floor to create a stunning illusion that makes the place look like an infinite bookworm’s paradise.

The roughly 10,500-square-foot bookshop was designed by Li Xiang, founder of Shanghai-based architecture studio X+Living, and inaugurated in the Fall of 2020. Using clever elements like spiraling staircases, curved archways and strategically-placed mirrors, the designers of this unique bookstore were able to create a downright stunning illusion of infinity. One need only look at photos of Dujiangyan Zhongshuge’s interior to experience the otherworldliness of the place.

Chinese bookseller Zhongshuge is renowned for its awe-inspiring bookstores, but its latest venue, in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, takes the cake for the most stunning yet. Li Xiang reportedly took a month to design the place and the construction process lasted five months, which is impressive, considering the complexity of the project.

Photo: X+Living

Large, arched walnut bookshelves dominate the space, but its the infinite illusion create by the mirrored ceiling and gleaming black tile that really make the place unique. The execution was so perfect that even knowing the secret of the illusion, one still has to struggle to see where the actual shelves start and where they stop.

Photo: X+Living

One trick the designers used to achieve this infinity visual effect was to covering the upper shelves with a print of shelved books rather than actual books, so it would appear that books stretched from floor to ceiling.

Photo: X+Living

“If we placed real books on the upper shelves, it’s not only hard for readers to reach them but also difficult for operators to take care of,” Li said. “The store already has a collection of over 80,000 books, so there’s actually no waste of space.”

Photo: X+Living

Light also plays an important role, so each bookshelf comes with its own light belt. This not only enhances the infinity effect but also makes it more convenient for readers to find books on the shelves.


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