For most kids, reading books is an aversion. Chen Zhang envisioned a space which would entice kids to spend time reading books. Her vision was inspired by the little bookworm and brought to life in Chongqing, China, by US-based design firm Pompei AD.
Mrs. Zhang’s vision of a little bookworm living in a forest was the inspiration for the store’s concept and design. Our vision was to bring this Little Bookworm to life by designing a space that features vignettes of Little Bookworm’s home where he lives, plays, eats,” says Pooja Rao Pillai, Studio Director at Pompei A.D. The forest environment envisioned as the little bookworm’s home translated to a bookstore which got the literal name ‘Little Bookworm’. Different zones have been created in the bookstore based on the activities of the little bookworm. His play area becomes the arts and crafts area; his sleeping area is the storytime space and his eating area is the cafe. The store has been designed to entice kids. Their parents can relax at the cafe while the kids explore the world of the Little Bookworm. The Little Bookworm’s home welcomes you with dense abstract trees and leads you to a forest-like atmosphere. The entire store is designed as pathways of trees in different forms to accommodate the various functions. The different
approaches of creating trees add the element of variety in design, while at the same time adhering to the design concept. 3D trees provide for new books to be displayed and tree forms created as niches in the walls make shelves for books and art work created by kids. The leaf form which is quite symbolic to a forest feel manifests in various elements in the store. Leaf shaped stamps on the floor brighten up the space. Light fixtures are also specially designed in the shape of the leaf. Leaf-shaped cutouts in walls serve as innovative seating spaces for kids. Right from the entry, a mystic forest experience takes the kids through different zones of the Little Bookworm. The first encounter is the reading area which is a cohesive composition of abstract trees animal seating spaces and lots of colours! Nooks in the walls were inspired by actual worm holes and become comfortable areas for children to sit and read while enjoying a view of the store from an unlikely place. The heart of the store inspired from the little bookworm’s sleeping area is the storytime area. The ambience here, inspired by tree trunks, connotes the heart of a tree where the little bookworm sleeps. Individual cubicles created with tree trunk partitions suffice for private zones.
The store aims to serve a holistic purpose and so has dedicated areas for arts and crafts for kids where they make stuff based on monthly themes and display it proudly. And, of course, a store for kids is incomplete without a play area. A dedicated area with special toys allows for kids to play there and also inspires new connections for them. They can interact with other kids and make friends too. The entire pallette in the store is very vibrant to please its target audience. Too many colours cater to the fancy of kids and encourage them to spend time there. The lights too render bright hues to the store and add to the colour pallette. Even the interior elements and materials used are implemented in variety of colours. Little Bookworm is a house of creative influx and takes kids through the emotions of fun, adventure and creativity. It is a platform for their imagination to flourish. An interactive space for kids and adults alike, parents can make new connections too. A very casual tone to the space sends out a recurring invite to its visitors. Eventually, a magical experience beckons