Mirrored Ceiling Makes Bookstore Look Like an Infinite Library

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge, a bookstore in Dujiangyan, China, relies on strategically placed mirrors and glossy black tile floors to create a stunning illusion that makes the place seem like an endless paradise for bookworms.

The approximately 10,500 square meter bookstore was designed by Li Xiang, founder of the Shanghai-based architecture firm X + Living, and inaugurated in autumn 2020. With clever elements such as spiral staircases, curved archways and strategically placed mirrors, the designers of this unique bookstore have created an almost breathtaking illusion of infinity. One only has to look at photos of Dujiangyan Zhongshuge’s interiors to experience the otherworldliness of the place.

Photo: X + Living

Chinese bookseller Zhongshuge is known for its impressive bookstores, but its recent location in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province is the best ever. Li Xiang reportedly took a month to design the site and the construction process took five months, which is impressive given the complexity of the project.

Photo: X + Living

Large, domed walnut bookshelves dominate the space, but it’s the infinite illusion created by the mirrored ceiling and glossy black tiles that make the place truly unique. The execution was so perfect that even knowing the mystery of the illusion one still has to struggle to see where the actual shelves begin and where they end.

Photo: X + Living

One trick the designers used to achieve this visual infinity effect was to cover the top shelves with a print of shelves instead of real books so that it appeared as if the books were floor-to-ceiling stretched.

Photo: X + Living

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

Photo: X + Living

Light also plays an important role, which is why every bookshelf has its own light belt. Not only does this amplify the infinity effect, but it also makes it more convenient for readers to find books on the shelves.