BEST OF YEAR

Photography by Harold De Puymorin. The owner of the 1,700-square-foot four-bedroom Hong Kong residence tapped firm director Nelson Chow to renovate the ...
Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson. “A professor who surfs” was the design conceit for a beach house overlooking one of ...
Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli Photography. In August, after years of creating custom studio sheds, the firm Modern Shed debuted its first-ever ...
Photography by Zooey Braun. Dubbed the “City of Visions,” Object Carpet’s new campus embodies the concept of networking, a place ...
Photography by Joe Fletcher. The matter at hand: a 3,150-square-foot office lobby within a complex of brutalist towers was due ...
Photography by Jack Gin. Enlisted by the Guangzhou Vanke Real Estate Co. to devise a 37,300-square-foot showroom for an upcoming ...

Beijing Zhongshuge Lafayette Store by X+Living: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Retail

Photography by Wu Gingshan.

Great novels immerse readers in another world. But it’s rare for a bookstore to be similarly transporting. That is, unless it’s designed by founder and creative director Li Xiang, who has made a specialty of surrealistic shelves. Take this 12,000-square-foot project, one of 17 her firm X+Living has conceived for the Chinese chain Zhongshuge, inside a Galeries Lafayette department store. Riffing on classical Chinese gardens, it reveals itself gradually, leading browsers from one carefully composed scene to the next. A series of circular portals, each lined with LED strips and book-patterned wallpaper and framing views of one another, reference traditional moon gates. A mirrored ceiling and glossy walnut flooring heighten the illusory perspectives. At the back of the store, the scenery changes, opening into a bright events space modeled after a bamboo forest. Willowy wood branches form a scrim around book displays; posters and paperbacks hang from thin horizontal bars between them. But the café returns visitors to solid ground: Its custom benches and stools in carved MDF are exactly what they appear to be.

Photography by Wu Gingshan.
Photography by Wu Gingshan.
Photography by Wu Gingshan.
Photography by Wu Gingshan.
Photography by Wu Gingshan.

Project team: Li Xiang; Ren Lijiao; Wu Feng. 

> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020

Photography by Nie Xiaocong. For a women’s fashion pop-up inside Upperhills, an upscale mall that features a Muji Hotel, the ...
Photography by Manolo Yllera. Peter Marino designs three to seven Louis Vuitton shops a year, each different. “With every one, ...
We're getting ready for Best of Year 2020 by highlighting 10 game-changing project winners from last year's awards. Be sure to submit ...
Located approximately 80 miles northwest of Shanghai in Wuxi, this striking dessert shop reads European, perhaps contemporary French. Yet Charlotte ...
Before architecture studio Atelier ZZ came on the scene, the project site, the courtyard of a Beijing teahouse, could be ...
The Chinese capital’s Western Hills area, with its cooler climate and beatific vistas, has long been a sacred location. Lately, ...
Wood flooring from France, Italian-fabricated engineered stone, exotic natural stone from around the globe. Offering these in showrooms around Mexico, ...
Can a concrete structure in the sand protect its fragile coastal environment? Open Architecture partners Li Hu and Huang Wenjing say ...
All in. Behnisch Architekten partner Stefan Rappold applied that company slogan to this new office and reception building, creating Adidas ...
Studio O+A principals Verda Alexander and Primo Orpilla like to invent—and reinvent—the workplace. The Interior Design Hall of Fame members ...
When a client embraces design as a transformational tool, the difference can be like night and day. This Los Angeles-based ...
For GID International Design design director Gary Zeng, updating a historic four-story building in Shanghai meant preserving as much of ...