Thursday Salute to Originals: The Reading Rainbow

It doesn’t have to be raining to catch a rainbow.

The WUtopia Lab based out of Shanghai, China is an architectural design firm founded in 2013 by architect Yu Ting () and interior designer MIN Erni. Pictured below is one of their latest public installments — an aluminum rainbow cascading from a bookstore ceiling called “Xanadu of Rainbows.”

Constructed from centimeter-thick sheets of perforated aluminum, the “rainbow” curves and dips throughout the building, adding a decorative feature that also serves a practical purpose, dividing the open space into smaller sections.

The semi-transparent sheets gradually shift between every color of the spectrum, filling the space with vibrancy and life. The name of the installation — Xanadu — literally means “of great magnificence and beauty.” This comes from the old English name for an ancient capital in Inner Mongolia, renowned across the world as a glittering paradise.

While a bookstore may not quite compare with the beauty of a Mongolian palace, the vibrant and flowing structures completely transform the open spaces of the building. As you observe how color is dipped into every space of the store, it’s hard not to have a joyful emotional response to the whimsy and magic of the giant rainbow.

This Thursday, we’re saluting WUtopia’s rainbow ceiling installment. We love a playful surface and this one is bursting with formal and color expression. You can view more of the designer’s work on their public Instagram.

Sources: WUtopia Lab, This is Colossal