Black Mirrored Floor Makes This Bookstore Entrance Look Like a Circular Tunnel of Books


A bookstore and library in Yangzhou, China has created a bibliophile’s dream. Black mirrored floors shimmer beneath arched shelves that stretch to the ceiling, creating the illusion of a never-ending tunnel of books.

A zig-zagging gap prevents the top of the shelves from touching. When reflected on the floor below, the lighting bolt shape, which represents a river, acts as a pathway to entice visitors to drift deeper within the building.

People who pass through the tunnel can pause to pluck books from the shelves. Those who carry on trekking through the trippy optical illusion will find additional architectural gems at the end.

The tunnel leads to a children’s reading room. Here, a series of LED lights turns the ceiling into night sky freckled with stars that twinkle above bright, whimsical shelves. There’s also an adult reading room full of curvy architecture and, of course, more books to browse.

The Shenghai-based architectural studio X+Living designed the tunnel, which was completed in 2016 under the direction of chief designer LI Xiang. They drew their inspiration from the city’s closeness to the Yangtze River and its abundance of arched bridges.

Scroll down to see all of the amazing images of this bookstore…

  1. With its black mirrored flooring, the entrance of the Yangzhou Zhongshuge bookstore in Zhen Yuan, China is a giant optical illusion.

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  6. Things are less dramatic when you go into the reading room, but stunning nonetheless.

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  9. The children’s room offers playful shelving under a starry night sky.

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