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Rainbows in Design: Zhongshuge Bookstore

Design Trends

Somewhere over the rainbow, a new design trend is being born. And, trust us, this one has no shortage of fun pops of color. Like most people, we’ve had an affinity for all-things rainbow from the time we were kids. We’d douse our coloring books in a funky, multi-hued medley. We proudly wave our rainbow flags during Pride month — or every month, really. But incorporating our love of rainbows into architecture and interior design is fairly new. During the past year and, especially in the current time of COVID-19, rainbows provide much- needed escapism, inspiring happiness, joy, and hope.


Wutopia Lab has captured this trend perfectly with its colorful and fun interior for The Metal Rainbow-Zhongshuge Bookstore in Suzhou, China. The space welcomes visitors with a succession of colorful panels and use of lights, making it a dynamic, inviting destination. The bookstore is divided into four main areas and several subdivided zones: The Sanctuary of Crystal for new arrivals, the Cave of Fireflies for recommendations, the Xanadu of Rainbows for the reading room, and the Castle of Innocence for children's books.


The Sanctuary of Crystal
The Sanctuary of Crystal is a book-filled space where the latest arrivals are arranged on pre-fabricated transparent acrylic shelves. Using glass bricks, mirrors and acrylic, the room is a shining white space, luring customers into the heart of the store.


The Cave of Fireflies
After the whiteness of the previous space, The Cave of Fireflies is a darker tunnel connecting the main hall and the entrance. Customers pick books here and follow the guide of optic fibers into the main reading area.


The Xanadu of Rainbows
The Xanadu of Rainbows is an open space with large windows, allowing natural light to pour inside the room. Taking advantage of the different heights of shelves, steps and tables, the architect created an abstracted landscape of cliffs, valleys, islands, rapids and oases. The thin perforated aluminum sheets in gradient colors simulate the appearance of rainbows. These one-centimeter-thin panels divide zones of different functions while bringing a mysterious and vague atmosphere to the space.


The Castle of Innocence
At the very end of the Xanadu of Rainbows, the space surrounded by white Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) walls is the children's books area. With the help of translucent ETFE, the Castle of Innocence is a magical world inside the bookstore. Many complex installments were added in the space, building a world where children can interact with each other and with the bookstore itself.

With its use of lights, colorful perforated metal sheets and uniquely dynamic spaces, this library is an incredible destination for all ages. For more information visit

All images used with permission