This is the strangest bookstore in the world.

A huge spiral staircase, which twists about the Zhongshuge Bookshop, Shenzhen in China is the main feature of the recently opened Zhongshuge. It actually doubles as an amazing bookshelf thanks to its jaw-dropping, sweeping staircase.

Li Xiang from Shanghai’s X+Living studios designed the bookstore and bookshelf. The latter doubles as an ‘artful installation’.

The defining feature in the newly opened Zhongshuge bookshop in the city of Shenzhen, China, is an enormous spiral staircase that twists around the shop

A huge spiral staircase winds around Zhongshuge’s new bookshop, which is located in Shenzhen. 

The whimsical staircase 'serves as a functional bookshelf and also a huge artistic installation', according to the designer

According to the designer, this whimsical staircase serves as both an artistic and functional bookcase. 

Opened in autumn this year, the bookshop is split into four distinct spaces: A ‘concept’ space, a Forum area, a Children’s Reading Bay, and a Conference Space.

Studio statement: The staircase-bookshelf is ‘in an angled trajectory through the entire area’. It connects with the entry and exit. Bookworms are able to roam through the coils and pick up novellas along the route.

“The designer have taken the symbolism from the ladder of wisdom, and integrated the elegant, dignified shelves in the forum area into the towering ladder. It creates a sacred temple to knowledge,” the statement says, explaining that it is a ‘intimate experience of reading’.

Shoppers can wander through the coils of the staircase - which even has a bannister - and peruse the books for sale

Shoppers have the opportunity to wander the spirals of the staircase, which also has a bannister. They can then peruse the books on sale. 

The structure, which is based on the 'symbolism of the ladder of wisdom', is intended to create an 'intimate reading experience' for book lovers

This structure is built on the “symbolisms of the ladder of wisdom” and is meant to provide an intimate reading experience for readers. 

You can also find the kids’ reading room in the shop. This is where you will find a variety of cartoonish and pastel-colored shapes and colors that are sure to bring back ‘colourful, joyful memories.

The wall is home to a ferris wheel and castle.

The central table in the area was intended to look like an amusement arcade carousel. It ‘invite children to make friends and read’. 

The brightly-coloured children's reading area, pictured, aims to conjure up 'colourful and joyful memories'

Pictured is the brightly-colored children’s area for reading. It aims to inspire ‘colorful, joyful memories.

The legs of the ‘levitating’ tables blend with the black-tiled flooring to create a surreal atmosphere.

Li Xiang describes how the design came about.

“The retail space was created from an art installation.

X+Living designed the Zhongshuge store in Chongqing City (pictured), implementing huge mirrors and symmetrical staircases in the design

X+Living designed Zhongshuge in Chongqing City. 

Above is the amazing Zhongshuge Lafayette Store in Beijing. Zhongshuge is a chain of bookshops across China, founded by book publisher Jin Hao

Above is the amazing Zhongshuge Lafayette Store in Beijing. Zhongshuge, a chain bookshops in China founded by Jin Hao (book publisher).

Pictured is the Zhongshuge shop in the city of Ningbo. Since 2010, X+Living studios has designed over 20 of the bookstore chain's premises

This is Zhongshuge in Ningbo. In the Zhongshuge shop in Ningbo, X+Living studios have designed more than 20 locations for this bookstore chain.

The Dujiangyan Zhongshuge, pictured, is yet another example of X+Living studios' work - the firm creates spaces with spectacular, awe-inspiring interiors

The Dujiangyan Zhongshuge, pictured, is yet another example of X+Living studios’ work – the firm creates spaces with spectacular, awe-inspiring interiors

Zhongshuge bookstores, which are bookshops located across China, were founded in 2010 by Jin Hao. X+Living studios designed 20 locations for the chain since 2010. These spaces feature stunning, inspiring interiors.

It unveiled Zhongshuge Bookstore Hangzhou in 2016, which has mirrored ceilings. There’s also an “enchanted forest” children’s zone with tree trunk shelves, huge mushrooms statues, and a’miracled ceiling”. 

In 2019, three years after the original studio, the Zhongshuge shop in Chongqing City was opened, the studio created a striking design using large mirrors and symmetrical stairs. 

The company has opened stores in Ningbo and Beijing as well as Guiyang, Chengdu, Chengdu, Guiyang, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guiyang and Guiyang.