WORDS
REPORTING
TAG
BROWSING
SHARE
Facebook
WhatsApp
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Email
Twitter

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore, Sichuan. How a history of water conservation inspired a bookstore

«A city with a history of water conservancy development. We want to move the local landscape to the indoor space of Zhongshuge», Li Xiang, founder of X+Living

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore, Sichuan

Opening its doors in the autumn of 2020, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore, is member of the Zhongshuge book retailing family, designed by Li Xiang of X+Living. Located in a city connected with the imperatives of conservation and irrigation. Xiang’s fascination with the tangible bears the root of her education in art and architecture. «In 2008, during my study trip to Germany. It was the first encounter between British Indian sculptor, Anish Kapoor and I. The rugby-shaped object that appeared in front of me grabbed my attention. Therefore I had to concentrate and focus, looking for every angle to see its appearance. In this shaped world, the appearance of a space that evades reality indicates infinite possibilities».

Designed by X+Living interior design agency

Resistant to conforming to the formalities of Modernism or the New Architecture, Xiang’s style is a product of her «instinct and rational thinking, rather than challenging any aesthetic direction». When approaching a project, such as the Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore, Xiang’s purpose is to ignite a space, «I pay attention to three-dimensional space than the decoration or furnishings in the space». This Dujiangyan bookstore is not the first space designed by X+Living – the interior design agency Xiang founded in 2011 – for Zhongshuge.

«There is no replication in the placement and structure of the furniture. This is due to the change in landscape and people’s habits. The pursuit of the integration of artistic aesthetics and practical function has been the design standard for our projects. For instance an immersive experience does play a role in our design, as our projects are commercial spaces. Our design needs to be attractive to visitors and strategically guide them to consume inside the space. Before the process of conceptual design, my team and I investigate the usage and psychological needs of the targeted groups of the project».

Dujiangyan – a city with a history of water conservancy development

«Design should express information. A design that can express its designer’s thoughts and purpose is the kind that touches me. Our work does bring a visual effect. No artists or movements affect it». Approaching this project, Xiang let the landscape direct her, «Dujiangyan is a city with a history of water conservancy development. In the main area, you could see the integration of the construction of the dam into the bookshelves. Furthermore the arch shaped bookshelves create a geometric aesthetic visually. They are as partitions so as consumers can spend more time exploring».

Reflecting on the design elements, Xiang adds «Walking through the bookstore customers can see the scenery of Dujiangyan. Their body feels the size between themselves and the foreign object when they stand in the space. The impact on their soul is similar to the awe we feel about nature». The bookstore is a myriad of textures and shapes, towering structures, and optical illusionary design ploys enforced by X+Living. Mirrored surfaces, ceramic tiles, blackened glass, and wood make up the material palette. For instance, «We designed light belts on each shelf to create a lighting effect, which draws the outline of each layer, making the shelf stereoscopic and clear to give readers a visual impact and to find books on the shelves».

Lampoon, Man in rice fields yunnan china
Man in rice fields yunnan china. Image Isabelle Chauvel

Each Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore area named

Given the bookstore’s height, Xiang noted how functionality played its role to find a balance between the experiential and everyday usability for its visitors. «We coordinated every part of the space to ensure that it does not break away from the theme of the concept; whether it is a bookshelf or a desk. Around a bookshelf there are spiral stairs at the center of the literature district; it offers books at a reachable distance. The books on top of the bookshelf are decorations for creating the visual effect of numerous books». Given the fact that the Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore is home to over 80,000 books that fall under 20,000 categories. «During the first week of opening, there were on average above 10,000 people visiting the store daily. The record visitors the store served in a day is sixteen thousand», Xiang tells us.

Andrew Martin’s International Interior Designer of the Year: Li Xiang

Obtaining a double architecture degree in the UK. In 2011, Weixiang International was founded, and since, it has been building projects based on the direction of Li Xiang. As an architect, she cross-bordered into the field of interior design, and created space models, business legends and art boutiques in formats such as culture, retail and hotels. In addition, Li Xiang has been selected as Andrew Martin’s International Interior Designer of the Year, the organizer of the Italian Design Award A’Design Award.

She became the first Chinese designer to be invited as a judge of Frame Awards in 2018. Furthermore in 2020, she was selected as the ‘Most Creative People in Business’ list of the world’s business media ‘Fast Company’. To control the overall coordinated design aesthetics from space to furniture, in 2015, the furniture brand XIANG was established to achieve the presentation of cross-border integrity of the space. It uses retailing to penetrate XIANG’s avant-garde artistic creativity into the lives of the people, in order to eliminate the sense of distance between art and life.

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge Bookstore

Chengdu, Wuhou District, 2, Sichuan, China

Paris Donnatella Callan

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

SHARE
Facebook
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Email
WhatsApp
Twitter