At first glance, an array of staircases zigzag their way through this giant bookstore in Southwest China. But most of what you see is made possible by mirrors.
High-end Chinese architecture firm X+Living's Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore is just two floors - featuring the main bookstore, a space for reading, a children's reading room, and a social snackbar. Mirrored ceilings and oscillating staircases make the main room seem considerably larger than it actually is.
"The superposition of objects and the way they're presented in a confined space is so fascinating," the studio told Dezeen in an interview. "Therefore, we started to pile up the ladders in the space, and transformed them to become a complex functional body."
In the social area, readers can purchase refreshments and sit in comfortable booths.
X+Living says the illusion of great size is meant to reflect the vast amount of knowledge contained in the bookstore.
Children are free to wander a reading room just for them.
"The bookshelves reflect on the ground and form a tunnel of books that beckons visitors to follow it deeper into the space and knowledge," Dezeen wrote. "They also create scattered booths in this area, in which visitors may gather with friends to have fun reading and enjoy their leisure time."
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