Zigzag bookcase shows Ikea a thing or two about not shipping air

"REK is a bookcase that grows with your book collection," writes Reinier De Jong Design on its official website. "The more books the bigger the bookcase gets. The zigzag shaped parts slide in and out to accomodate books in the resulting voids. REK will always be full, regardless of the quantity of books. Also the books can be arranged according to their sizes. The narrow spaces are excellent for magazines."

Price is "on request", unfortunately, which suggests I'll be sticking with my cheapo Billies for the time being.

REK bookcase [via Jessamyn West]


  1. Hmm – I think I’d rather have them ship air, then end up with a book case that creates some shelves that will only end up storing air. But, I’m not their target market…

  2.  “on request”
    As they say:  “If you have to ask”.

    Why is there always a split second where I see something I like and think I’ll be able to afford it?

  3. Sheesh. The coffee table of the same style is $2000 dollars. The bookcase could probably furnish a couple houses in IKEA.

  4. That is genuinely neato.  Not at all to my aesthetic taste, but nonetheless an incredibly good idea well-executed.  One of those great ideas that leaves one wondering why in hell one didn’t think of it first.

  5. I hope there’s some mechanism to prevent it from separating completely, if you get a little overzealous in moving them away from each other.

    1. I’m not sure you could actually move it at all once it’s got a few books in it. I quite like the way that IKEA is designed to be beautiful, affordable AND functional, whereas a number of these designs, while beautiful, are very expensive and often only look functional. I have a feeling that the discussion went “It’s kind of cool that it expands like that, but we’re left with spaces that don’t really serve a purpose and are too small for books.” “We’ll just say they’re excellent for magazines then. Simple.” I would say it looks like a great bookshelf if you’re more concerned about aesthetics than functionality though (which is fine, it’s just not me – I just see wall space that’s filled up with lots of wood and impractically sized spaces). I suppose if you were to showcase a collection of something it could be useful, or it might make a good partition between areas of a room – that way you could stack stuff on both sides and make more use of the space. Sorry, I come from a family of bibliophiles, if prime wall space is not filled at least one book deep there’s something wrong!

      1.  I’m trying to imagine what that thing would even weigh completely empty. For it to just work the way it was intended, it really needs to be on bearing t the bottom, on a solid footing. Otherwise, I can’t see it being any easier than pushing around my regular bookcase.

        1. Rough estimate from the picture and their ‘max’ dimensions (assuming the smaller number is the height) puts it at around 20 cubic feet.

          Using pine, the whole unit is about 600 pounds. Using MDF, it’s like 950 pounds. But only like 200 pounds if they’re using balsa! (Density Reference)

      1. I bought two of those from IKEA’s  ‘damaged and display goods’ corner…and  was then told they would not ship it because nyah nyah. So I had to borrow tools from customer service and disassemble the whole damn thing right there in the middle of the store so that I could get it into my friend’s car.

        It was cheap, but oi, the work. 

  6. And Ikea can probably show Reinier de Jong a thing or two about making affordable products.  Even if Ikea makes you pay to “ship air,” shipping air apparently isn’t so expensive that prices are only “on request.”

  7. Which Ikea ships prebuilt products? Everything I’ve ever bought from Ikea was densely packed to be assembled. I’ve never seen an Ikea product full of air. What am I missing?

    1. I’m sure there must be a clever literary term for this type of phrase…the joke is that they’re so good at it, they can even teach IKEA (master airless shippers) a thing or two. 

  8. I like it, it fits inside itself. That is satisfying enough for me, I don’t think it’s claiming to adhere to the Ikea manifesto, it just simply fits inside itself. It reminds us that once we dreamed of climbing inside our own bellybuttons.

  9. Well, so much for that clean efficient Scandinavian design we have been reading about for the past 40 years. There is more wasted space in this bookshelf  than anything I have ever seen before in my life. No amount of reconfiguration can solve that error in design solving.

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