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Jetlag Bookstore by +C Architects


“Shan Hai Si He” by Jetlag Books is a bookstore designed by +C Architects. Located on Dongsi North Avenue in Beijing’s Dongcheng District, with a store area of 70 square meters. The store is situated at the podium level of a residential building. Both the owner and the designer wish to weave the bookstore as part of the daily life of nearby residents. Started with placing a series of stools at the storefront, where visitors can sit and read, enjoying their coffee while witnessing the daily activities of its surrounding public.

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In order to create a connection between the inside and the outside, a series of columns are placed to echo the existing columns in the interior. Each column is decorated with a large Jetlag logo that gives a sense of playfulness to its façade design. The top part of the façade featured a highly reflective stainless steel to reflect its surrounding, once again blurring the boundary between the inside and the outside.

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The design started from understanding the size and proportion of each area as well as its circulation path based on the design brief given by the client. Once entered, visitors will first be greeted by a coffee area and encounter the book display as they move deeper into the store. This is because the coffee area is often considered as a place to socialize which is known to be more lively, in contrast with the tranquility of the bookstore at a deeper part of the store. Thus a “front shop, back “field” typology was implemented.

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Pressed wood panels are often known for its budget-friendly and environmentally friendly properties which is used in this project. It’s warm and softness juxtaposed with the unpainted concrete wall. This contrast can also be found in other materials such as the transparency of the acrylic and hardness of the stainless steel. As a result, provides a sense of sophistication that is aligned with the client’s vision.

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The term jetlag means the disorder of time and space. The design of this bookstore resonates with this term that being weightlessness. Bookshelves are created by using transparent acrylic and steel structure frames to reduce their heaviness in this small and confined space. Because of its transparency, the visual appearance of the books becomes a tangible material that can be easily replaced and altered.

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The coffee area and book display area are separated by these three stainless steel shelves two of which can be rotated and formed a partition to separate the space for independent events and functions. The partitions within these bookshelves are designed in three different sizes and forms. The main partitions are made out of bent 2mm thick steel panels. Fixed by two metal fixtures at the side panels which are customizable based on the client’s needs. This ultimately results in a more flexible space and allows transformation in each season.

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Besides its main function of being a bookstore, Jetlag Books also offer salons and small exhibitions occasionally. In order to ensure maximum flexibility, the designer is also involved in the design of its furniture. A large table is designed as a few separated pieces which can be connected via interlocking details. This interlocking mechanism allows customization to occur easily. “Shan Hai Si He” by Jetlag Books links art, design books, and artists with the community.

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Architects: +C Architects; Area : 70 m²; Year : 2021; Photographs :Seemore Studio; Lead Architect : Wei Cai; Lighting Consultant : Shanghai Liuzhu Lighting Design & Engineering Co.;


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