This bookstore in Chengdu, China, features an entrance that mimics the feel of a journey to an underground, vaulted, futuristic world. The 5,280-square-meter(that's nearly 57,000 square feet) bookstore lies on a site where an ancient Daci temple once stood. For Taiwanese designer Chu Chih-Kang, several cultural threads inform the concept of the store. For one, the idea of a Sutra depository or a place of stored wisdom. To create a sense of retreat from the outside world—to an inner one of knowledge and self-reflection—visitors enter via a tunnel-like escalator that opens into a double-height hall with 9-meter-tall (nearly 30 feet) concrete columns rising from the ground. It's a darkened space, spotlit along its periphery where seemingly endless bookshelves glow, as if illuminated by the knowledge they hold.