Entire Bookstore is an Optical Illusion and Dream Come True for All Book Lovers

Where to start? A library and a bookstore in Yangzhou, China is a dream come true for every fantasy book lover in the world at least. It’s basically a tunnel with arched shelves on the sides, the black mirrored floors (the key to this optical illusion), and so-called ‘river’ – a gap in the shape of the lightning bolt. A river dramatically creates a space between top shelves and due to mirrored floors, it also becomes a pathway for visitors leading them deeper into this magical place. The more you explore the more architectural wonders will occur. At the end of the tunnel lies a children’s reading room like no other. It has a starry night sky, a cosmos watching over your kids, whimsically shaped shelves in many playful colors. Outstanding! But what makes everything even better is the ridiculously futuristic adult reading room. It has certain shapes that look like a combination of a spaceship and caves making it a dramatic place that will take your breath away before you even pick your favorite book. This architectural wonder has been designed by the Shanghai-based X+Living. It has been finished in 2016 with a chief designer Li Xiang controlling the project. The inspiration for such an incredible design came from two things. Nearby the library lies a Yangtze River and it was used as an inspiration for lightning bolt design and the abundance of arched bridges above the river brought the idea for the circular shape that became dominant in the project.

By Shanghai-based architectural studio X+Living


Finished in 2016, Located in Yangzhou, China

Black mirrored floor creates an optical illusion of a fully cylindrical building

Lighting bolt shaped gap on the ceiling divides top shelves and becomes pathway on the ground


The gap is called ‘River’ inspired by the nearby Yangtze River

This is a special corner for kids to read with the starry night sky and colorful whimsical shelves

Another sector for adults to read


It looks almost like a spaceship designed within the caves

via [artfido]