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China will secure a first for the global book industry this month when it completes construction of the world’s first 3-D printed bookshop.  It has been built in Shanghai’s Wisdom Bay Innovation Park and is due to open before the end of January.

According to a report in the Global Times, the project has been overseen by He Yuting, from Tsinghua University School of Architecture in Beijing.  He told the newspaper that the shop was printed on site in three weeks and is now ready to be decorated and stocked with books.

Yuting said that 3D-printed architecture is cheaper than conventional construction techniques and saves time.  “We used fibre concrete to resist compression and the store has underfloor heating,” he said, adding that the 3D-printed bookstore is as safe as traditional concrete construction.

The shop has a floor area of about 30 square meters and can accommodate 15 people inside at a time. The construction is composed of three parts – the main part outer round wall, the roof and the other part of the outside wall.  The outer round wall was printed on site, and the other two parts were printed separately.

The Wisdom Bay Innovation Park was created on the site of an old textile mill and uses converted shipping containers to provide offices for design companies and innovative start-ups.  It is also home to the world’s first 3-D printed concrete bridge.  The whole complex has been hailed as Shanghai’s first popular science park – and now it will shortly be home to the one of the world’s most unusual bookshops.