Zhongshuge Bookstore, Guangzhou
No.227 Enning Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China
Zhongshuge is now the most exciting book retailer on the planet. It latest stores in Beijing, Dujiangyan, Ningbo and Guangzhou confirm that the bookstore is not only alive, but a place of wonder, surprise and delight, where design and creativity are vital tools.
The Chinese place huge importance on their literary culture and heritage and Zhongshuge taps into this by creating unique designs for each store, based on local history and architecture, actively avoiding cookie cutter roll outs.
Like their other stores, their store Guangzhou aims at making books and reading part of a fashionable lifestyle. The store features lots of reading nooks encouraging longer dwell times, and there is a dedicated space for children. On the second floor customers find a café, which in keeping with the location, has the ambience of 1950s coffee-house culture giving it a more traditional feel and relaxed ambience.
The designers, Shanghai based X+Living’s aim is to provide experiential spaces that transport visitors to somewhere magical, just in the same way that a good book can, and the creation of these escapist experiences is designed as an antidote to the hectic cities in which their customers live.
At 645², the Guangzhou store is around half the size of their usual stores, its smaller scale means that it has a much cosier, domestic feel, which gives visitors the sense of visiting the library of a historic stately home, though it still has lots of interesting nooks and crannies that give the same sense of discovery as the larger stores, it feels a lot more personal in contrast to the imposing monolithic designs of the retailer’s other bookstores.