Capsule Hostel and Bookstore bags World Interior of the Year award

The structure is located in the deep forests of Tonglu in Zhejiang province.

At twilight, the building is illuminated by the light from indoors (All photos: Su Shengliang/Atelier tao+c)

Going to bed surrounded by books is a given for guests at China’s Capsule Hostel and Bookstore, named World Interior of the Year at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2021.

Surrounded by mountainous forests outside and lined with tome-filled shelves inside, the capsule hotel in Qinglongwu, Zhejiang province, is a bookworm’s paradise. Built by Shanghai-based Atelier tao+c, the “cross between a beehive, climbing frame and pagoda … is exceptionally skilful and entertaining, a beautiful hybrid idea executed with poetry, sophistication and warmth”, say the judges.


The modular capsule rooms are hidden and enclosed by bookshelves

The 7.2m high building houses the hostel, a community bookstore and library, and can accommodate 20 people comfortably. To maximise the 232 sq m interior, the ground floor was opened up and partition walls removed.

Two independent structures equipped with 10 capsule rooms — guests can only sit or lie low in them — and one bathroom “float” above the library that is on the ground floor, where staggered slabs add a “third floor” to the space. This clever balance extends to the whole concept of the project, which maintains the privacy of those spending the night, and welcomes visitors keen to browse its books.


The architects made restrained openings on the exterior wall to maintain the original simplicity of the building

INSIDE is a sister event of the annual World Architecture Festival open to architects and designers, who compete under Completed Building, Future Project and Interior.

Read more about the project here.

This article first appeared on Dec 13, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.


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