May 2009 | Michael Lieberman

Kid's Republic : The Coolest Bookstore on the Planet

Kid's Republic is a book haven for the children of Beijing. It opened in 2005 and was designed by Japanese architect Keiichiro Sako. It's stocked with picture books from all over the world and has an activity room that hosts storytelling events and anime screenings. It also offers one of the coolest settings for both kids and grown to interact with books.

On the design, via

36-year-old Japanese architect Keiichiro Sako's design for children's bookstore Kid's Republic gives full play to the innocence, fun and inquisitiveness of the young, conjuring up images of childhood that are sure to enchant anyone walking through the doors. Twelve bands of color weave their way around the activity room to create a rainbow-like décor for a space used for storytelling and anime screenings.

Recesses in walls and ceiling accommodate light fittings and displays, and the stepped floor forms a natural stage and auditorium. The carpet provides a comfortable surface that invites children to sit or sprawl wherever takes their fancy. A ribbon of rainbow colors starts at the bottom of the stairs next to the entrance and winds its way up to the floor above, metamorphosing into various objects along the way. Functioning in places as bookshelf, table and gates, it twists and twirls to form counters and even ceiling parts, traveling a hundred meters before finally turning into a backdrop for the handrail that leads back down the stairwell to where it all began.

What a treat.

Thanks to Pratham Books for the lead