A Bookstore Inspired by Painting


Architectural office HAS Design and Research has designed a bookstore with an exhibition space and a restaurant, implemented as a “spiritual and relaxing place” in the center of Chongqing, China.

The office was inspired by leading Chinese artist Guanzhong Wu’s ink painting The Mountain City of Chongqing to create the bookstore, with the aim of blending metropolitan life with the feel of the countryside.

To capture the spirit of the painting once again, the architects used organic materials and neutral colors in the design.


Inside, a peaceful setting is created with charcoal-colored walls and a shiny, polished concrete floor. To create a sense of transition between reality and illusion, the books are designed to be displayed behind frosted glass panels in bookcases made of douglas fir.

Architect Jenchieh Hung said, “We took nature into account in our design, because people are a part of nature. However, in the project, visitors cannot interact with nature because they are inside the building, so we created a ‘man-made nature’ inside the building.”

The project, which is located among a series of high-rise buildings, is planned to be two floors on an area of ​​​​1,000 square meters.


A space is designed for reading, resting and chatting on the lower floor. A series of undulating staircases lead to the second floor of the building, which serves as “a micro mountain city to create a dynamic and exploratory reading space”.

On the second floor, there is a restaurant and an exhibition area for visitors to eat and drink.



In the project, multi-layered rooms with different heights were created by trying to connect the topography of Chongqing city and the houses on the hill to the design area. The divided first floor and second floor are designed in accordance with the spatial form of the houses on the hill, while the lower floor is designed in accordance with the “grey area” of the houses on the hill.