The Zhongshuge Bookstore In China Is Creating All Sorts Of Buzz With Its Optical Illusion Design

For book-lovers, there are only two places where they can find total bliss. And those places are libraries and bookstores. These places are all about their collection of reading materials. But what if somebody can turn a library or a bookstore into a stunning work of art? For years, designers have been transforming libraries into spectacles by employing classical and contemporary designs. There are several spectacular libraries and bookstores featuring stunning architectural designs. But none of these are as eye-catching and mind-boggling as the Zhongshuge Bookstore in Chongqing, China.

zhongshuge bookstore optical illusion interior

Inspired by M.C. Escher’s iconic lithograph Relativity (1953), the interior design of the Zhongshuge Bookstore also features interconnected staircases. Just like the famous lithograph, the interior also presents optical illusion that tricks the eyes to confusion. Shanghai-based architectural and interior design firm X+Living used mirrors for the ceiling in order to achieve the illusion. As a result, the reflection creates an upside down image, producing an illusion of a never-ending intertwine of staircases.

Zhongshuge Boosktore interior design features optical illusion of confusing interconnection of staircases

zhongshuge bookstore interior design

Designers used mirror ceiling to reflect the image of the staircases and bookshelves in upside down form

zhongshuge bookstore mirror ceiling


zhongshuge bookstore staircases optical illusion

The staircases are made of wood to project a more solid visual effect. But the railings are purely made of glass in order to create visual flow and continuity. Although the staircases are designed in an orderly manner, the assortment of colors from the bookshelves adds chaos to enhance the illusion. Stepping inside the Zhongshuge Bookstore, you’ll certainly feel being sucked inside Escher’s masterpiece.

zhongshuge bookstore wooden staircases


zhongshuge bookstore glass railings


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zhongshuge bookstore interconnected staircases

Aside from the confusing staircases, the lobby also flaunts conical bookshelves that appear to float on air. Again, the mirror ceiling produces an upside down image of each bookshelf to create an illusion of hourglass-shaped bookshelves.

zhongshuge bookstore lobby conical bookshelves


zhongshuge bookstore floating bookshelves

But that’s not all. Even the children’s reading room has a mirror ceiling that creates a dreamlike projection of the colorful room.

zhongshuge bookstore children reading room


zhongshuge bookstore children reading room optical illusion


zhongshuge bookstore colorful children reading room

X+ Living’s clever use of optical illusion was widely recognized that the Zhongshuge Bookstore was included in the list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Indeed, once you enter this out-of-this-world bookstore, you’ll get to experience the fantastical illusion of getting lost in fantastical world.

zhongshuge bookstore most beautiful


zhongshuge bookstore x-living


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china bookstore optical illusion interior

Source: X+ Living