- The Capsule Hotel and Bookstore in China was recently named hotel and short-stay interior of the year as well as interior project of the year at the Dezeen Awards 2020.
- It was formerly the home of the local village chief.
- It now features 24-foot ceilings and towering bamboo bookshelves that have 20 tiny capsule rooms hidden amongst them.
- It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A new hotel in China was designed with bookworms in mind.
Shanghai architecture firm Atelier Tao+C designed the Capsule Hotel and Bookstore in the village of Qinglongwu, China, which recently won both hotel and short-stay interior of the year and interior project of the year at the Dezeen Awards 2020.
A bookstore, library, and hostel hybrid, the hotel features massive bamboo bookshelves that house over 30,000 books, with 20 tiny rooms hidden amongst the stacks.
The hotel, which can accommodate 20 guests, is split into two separate areas, with men housed on one side and women on the other, each side featuring a communal bathroom.
Each capsule room, only 4.4 feet high, can fit no more than a single mattress but is equipped with lighting, shelves, and hooks. Luggage and larger items, however, need to be stored in cabinets right outside.
The hotel is a far cry from the dark and dusty spaces the idea of a library usually conjures: Thanks to a glass-walled extension of the building, new skylights, and 24-foot high ceilings, the space is bright, airy, and inviting. A cobblestone-like floor and exposed rammed earth walls even give the interior an outdoorsy vibe.
Throughout the stacks of books, guests will find little paths and spots to read and short stairways with sharp turns. Atelier Tao+C told Insider in an email that this is meant to simulate the landscape outside of the hotel, “people meandering in the winding paths in the mountain area.”
Atelier Tao+C said that the hotel was originally a two-story vernacular house made of rammed earth that was formerly the home of the local village chief. It has already gone through two expansions, one in the ’60s and another in the ’70s.
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Renovations on the Capsule Hotel and Bookstore began in October 2018 and took 10 months to complete.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, rooms are currently not available for booking, though the bookstore and library portion opened to the public in June 2020.
A website for the space does not exist yet. According to Atelier Tao+C, the hotel’s owner did not expect the amount of worldwide attention the hotel has received and is working on creating a booking platform.
Post-pandemic, rooms will be available for around $35 a night.
The former home’s renovation into a hotel and library is part of a “village renewal program.”
Atelier Tao+C said that the hotel is meant to attract more travelers to the village, while the reading room and community bookstore is meant as a space for locals to congregate.
Atelier Tao+C said it worked with a local bookstore chain to choose which books to display: The 30,000 books cover a wide range of literature and philosophy, as well as a solid selection of art books.
The way the bookstore works is that people can pick a book to read on-site. If they like it, they can scan a QR code and order it, though they can’t take any books from the library home with them.
Atelier Tao+C said that because the bookstore is so remote, “the cost of transportation and storage for books is quite high.”
It is important to note that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer advises against nonessential travel, it does warn that “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
The US Department of State’s website says to “Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), due to COVID-19 and arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”
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