Inside the YJY Maike Centre Flagship bookstore in Xi’an, China

In an effort to bring the area’s rich culture and advanced science together, the YJY Maike Centre Flagship was born.

ocated at the heart of the Xi’an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone, it serves as a luxury bookstore where people can immerse themselves in tales from all over the world.

The Maike Group project was helmed by Tomoko Ikegai of Japanese studio ikg inc., who themed the two floors – measuring 4,500m2 in total – around “Library & Gallery”, making it a quiet place to read and reflect, and a mini museum all at the same time. 

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by 10m-high bookshelves that blanket all the walls – matching the “Library” theme. While those on the higher shelves would be difficult to reach, the store also has smaller “islands” where books are laid for purchase and quick skimming.

Exploring uncovers a beautiful spiral staircase to the second floor, with a brightly-lit event space around it serving as a “courtyard” of sorts, similar to how ancient Chinese palaces had an open-air one.

A stage sits at the bottom of the staircase, and closer inspection of it reveals a stone map of Xi’an and the region around it – a lovely nod to the city as customers peruse tomes from everywhere and anywhere.

Before heading up, look above the stage and staircase for an elegant installation of lights. Fashioned after falling paper, it fills in the atrium below the high ceilings and makes for a slightly whimsical scene of the sheets escaping from volumes.

On the second floor, guests will find a lounge and bar counter, which results in a communal area to socialise or sit down to read – just right for office workers in the area looking for a breather.

This is fitting, considering the YJY Maike Centre Flagship is situated in the same building as the Grand Hyatt Xi’an.

Further along, a 50m “Book Street” gives rise to the “Gallery” theme, a distinctly unique spot in the entire store.