after successfully completing its multi-use community center in shanghai, wutopia lab finalizes its construction of the zhongshu bookstore in suzhou, chinathe bookstore is divided into four main areas and several subdivided zones: the sanctuary of crystal for new arrivals, the cave of fireflies for recommendations, the xanadu of rainbows for reading room, and the castle of innocence for children books.


the sanctuary of crystals houses the transparent acrylic shelves showcasing a selection of recommended books

 

 

wutopia lab‘s sanctuary of crystal is a book-filled space where the latest arrivals are arranged on the pre-fabricated transparent acrylic shelves, outstanding the presence of the books. using glass bricks, mirrors and acrylic, the room is a shining white space, luring customers into the heart of the store. following the transparency and lucidity of the sanctuary of crystal space, the cave of fireflies is a darker tunnel connecting the main hall and the entrance. customers can choose books and follow the guide of optic fibers into the main reading area.


the airy sanctuary of crystals

 

 

the xanadu of rainbows is an open space with large windows, allowing natural light to pour inside the room. taking advantage of the different heights of shelves, steps, and tables, the architect creates an abstracted landscape of cliffs, valleys, islands, rapids, and oases. the thin perforated aluminum sheets in gradient colors simulate the appearance of rainbows installed in the bookstore. these one centimeter thin panels divide zones of different functions while bringing a mysterious and vague atmosphere to the space. at the very end of the xanadu of rainbows, the space surrounded by white ETFE walls is the children books area. with the help of translucent ETFE, the castle of innocence is an inner world inside the bookstore. many complex installments were added in the space, building a world where children can interact with each other and with the bookstore itself.


the space is a large illuminated room displaying the best selling books


an overview of the cave of fireflies


the bookstore offers a cafe and seating area for visitors


with the use of lights, the colorful sheets can be seen from outside making the bookstore an inviting destination


the main welcoming hall


an alternative angle of the main hall


the appearance of a veil is created when multiple panels of different sizes and colors are fixed together


the art and design section of the bookstore


the playful children’s area


the castle of innocence features individual ‘camping’ spaces where kids can read in peace

 

 

project info:

 

architects: wutopia lab
design consultant: archunits
chief architect: yu ting
project architect: shuojiong zhang
lighting design: gradient lighting
location: suzhou, jiangsu province, china
area: 1380 sqm
project year: 2016-2017
material: perforated aluminum, stainless steel, glass brick, etfe, ceramic tile
photograph: hu yijie, creatar(ai qing, mao yingchen, shi kaichen)

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

  • Freedom of design. Not freedom of thought. There is no room for 100 schools of thought—just the flowers with the thorns removed.

    Mark Seattle says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

architecture news