wutopia lab maps the human body in this shanghai bookstore's various floors

wutopia lab maps the human body in this shanghai bookstore's various floors

wutopia lab transforms one of the sinan mansions, a series of colonial buildings from the 20s and 30s in shanghai’s luwan district, into a multi-purpose bookstore. ‘sinan books: shanghai sanctum’ features a multicolor scheme starting with a red arcade at the entrance that represents the store’s openness, different hues of green that indicate the exhibition spaces, black and white areas, gold surfaces and a white marble rooftop terrace.


photos by creatar images



wutopia lab conceived the bookstore floors as ‘a person with a system of acquiring knowledge while discovering oneself and the surroundings,’ relating the ground floor with the subconscious, the entrance level with the heart, the second floor with the eyes and ears, and the top floor with the brain. hosting a collection of history and philosophy books, the ground level features a bookshelf labyrinth, a large study room with various objects of creative product design on display, smaller reading rooms under the stairs and a special department by london review books, a sister bookstore of sinan books. an underutilized south patio is redesigned into a flower porch, using planters to create a vivid back façade for the bookstore.



located on the first floor, the entrance level includes a a café, an area for literature and the public yet intimate sinan living room. flexible spaces that can host exhibitions, book club events and small concerts are found on the second floor, completed with an area focused on art and a peaceful music room. on the top floor, a writer’s study where small cultural salons can take place is designed to symbolize the bookstore’s ‘thoughts’.


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: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

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