Beijing's rainbow bookstore
27 August 14
I love to see rainbows within innovative design. We often see such a modest spectrum of colour within good design that it’s refreshing to find designers who embrace the whole rainbow! Today we visited one of the world’s best examples of colour-well-done in a children’s bookstore.
Some designs are iconic, and when the Japanese firm SAKO was awarded China’s 2007 official interior design award for a commercial space for their colourful and innovative interior of a children’s bookstore, they received a lot of international attention. The world was starting to pay attention to the construction projects happening in Beijing ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games, and suddenly Asia was where cutting-edge — and sometimes gaudy — design was being show-cased.
Our hotel’s proximity to the Kids Republic Bookstore in the Chaoyang District of Beijing means that a visit to see the rainbows and browse the books was the perfect excuse to lure the girls out of the hotel and explore some of the city on foot. The location of the bookstore was a bit tricky to work out (given that I don’t read Mandarin). However, I pinpointed its location on maps as Pupulan Huibenguan and despite some online confusion, it’s definitely located in Building 13.
While Beijing’s Kids Republic is no longer as bright and shiny as when they first opened their doors six years ago, the concept of colours, round reading-nooks and climbing structures — in a bookstore! — is worth emulating. I’m glad we’ve seen it for ourselves — we like to add colours into our bus’ interior — and I hope to see more well-designed rainbows in our future travels!