Dezeen Magazine

Shift shelving system by Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola has designed a new shelving system called Shift for B&B Italia.


The system was originally developed for the Urquiola-designed B&B Italia store in Barcelona (below), which opened in March last year.


Here is a full description of the product:


Shift provides decisively innovative solutions able to blend open bookcases and closed storage units with doors. The front view differs from traditional styles because it conveys movement. Alternating elements that stick out or remain closer to the back panel, with different slants, create an optical effect of empty and full volumes, and give the bookcase a sculptured look. Shift breaks away from the regular, linear bookcase to present a more dynamic piece of furniture.


The L-shaped shelves, in different lengths, are hung one over the other in an irregular arrangement, a system that makes it possible to create different, creative styles of modular bookcases-storage units depending on the placement of the shelves.


The shelves are of different depths, and can accommodate tilted sliding doors that open and close the storage areas. Another element that emphasizes the aesthetic design of the Shift line is the choice of colour combinations: there are thirteen satin colours to choose from, and six of these are also available in a glossy finish.


The shelves come in six different lengths: 300, 270, 240, 210, 180, 150 cm, in three heights, 25.5, 34 and 42.5 cm and three depths 33, 38 and 43 cm. Inside the shelf elements it is possible to place dividers every 15 cm, to create areas ranging from 15 to 75 cm in width. Shelves and dividers are monochromatic in the satin colours, but the front sliding door track can be in a different satin colour, as shown in the picture to the right.


In comparison, the composition pictured below and on the preceding pages shows continuity in the finish of the doors and the sliding track - in the colour satin desert - which contrasts with the anthracite coloured shelves.

The doors

The doors come in two different lengths, 49.4 cm and 79.4 cm and in the three different heights of the shelves 25.5, 34, 42.5 cm. They slide on tracks, and have a slant due to the alternation of shelves of different depths. The doors come in satin or glossy finishes or in mirrored glass. In the picture below (shown more completely on the preceding pages) all the elements, shelves, sliding tracks, dividers and doors are shown with a chalk white finish.

The shelves and tops

Being able to place shelves freely makes it possible to satisfy several different functional needs. In the monochromatic anthracite composition with glossy doors, shown on the preceding page and here below, an overhanging shelf becomes a place for the television set - that integrates perfectly with the look of the furniture. An aluminium cableway box can be installed on the shelf to hide unsightly cables of audiovisual appliances.


Above: Patricia Urquiola