Here's how Sou Fujimoto fitted a chair into a bookcase
The Japanese architect and designer puts the reader first with this neat addition to a conventional set of bookshelves
When is a chair not a chair? When it’s a bookcase. Sou Fujimoto has designed a combined Bookchair: a freestanding shelving unit with a chair-shaped void. Into this void fits a chair that ‘disappears’ once it is slid in.
According to Fujimoto “Bookchair comes to life through the aggregation of a new element, the chair within the bookcase, based on a concept that aims to reflect the basic, fundamental relationship between a book and its reader.”
Bookchair is made by Italian furniture brand Alias, which has also worked with Philippe Starck, Mario Botta, Patrick Norguet, Nendo, Ron Gilad and PearsonLloyd.
Alias makes Fujimoto’s design from lacquered MDF, and offers just one colour, white, in an attempt to highlight its strong ties between the content and the container.
“The simple and extremely clean configuration of the bookcase is enriched by the soft, sinuous lines of the chair which, according to the use, may be kept in a space inside the bookcase or, when in use, may stand free in the space of the home,” says the Bergamo-based firm. “Thus, the bookcase becomes an element of the environment where it is installed, playing an active, continually changing role.”
But there is one concession to the chair’s presence: its profile is picked out with a fine black line. Bookchair is a clever, minimal solution for households short on space, but what happens to the books propped on the chair’s shelves, as it is moved to and from its ‘resting’ position? Perhaps that’s the spot to put your most commonly read volumes – all Phaidon books, of course.