When it comes to embracing digital reading, China is the world leader, with more ebook readers, more digital authors, and bigger ebook stores than anywhere else on the planet.

But print, here as everywhere, is still king, and despite the fact that the Chinese live more of their lives on their smartphones than any other nation, bookstores are doing just fine.

The latest addition to the Chinese bookstore catalogue is the Zhongshu Bookstore in the ancient city of Xi’an, once capital to thirteen Chinese dynasties and still revered as an historical icon.

Enter Wutopia Lab, the futuristic architecture outfit that likes to blend the old with the new, and suddenly the ancient city of Xi’an is home to one of the most modernistic of bookstores, made with 300 tons of steel and 30,000 meters of light strips, all in white, that seemingly floats within the building’s walls where the fourth floor should be, and is only accessible by

a pillarless white curvy staircase, highlighted by a spiral white panel, surrounded by custom-made white acrylic walls.

The illusion is created by a cantilevered structure comprising 3,000 metres of white steel shelving.

The children’s section is described as,

a crystal structure hidden in the forest. It was inspired by the trees and animal silhouettes of the nine-colored deer to protect the children’s Wonderland. Kids will find their own hidden entrances, a hidden world of playful tricks and caves, and have the skylines of the architecture, blue skies and starry nights. This is a world for children.

Lots more images and more details about the 20,300 sq ft / 1,886 sq m bookstore can be found at the Caan Design link below.

Xi’an Zhongshu Bookstore by Wutopia Lab: Modern white bookstore designed to curve de imagination