Dezeen Magazine

REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong

Product news: this extendable bookcase by Dutch designer Reinier de Jong, which became one of our most popular stories ever after we published the prototype in 2008, has now gone into production.

REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong

Originally designed for a private client, the REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong has interlocking shelves that allow it to slide out to make space for more books as required.

REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong

The different shelf dimensions hold various sizes, while the narrowest slots are ideal for magazines. At its largest, the bookcase is 228 centimetres wide.

REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong

The original REK bookcase was finished with white laminate, but de Jong has now introduced a recycled laminate finish in grey and dark grey.

REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong

He has also made the bookcase lighter, reducing its weight to 80 kilograms, and added a stop to make sure the shelves don't slide out too far.

REK bookcase by Reinier de Jong

Last year de Jong presented an extendable coffee table to complement the REK bookcase, while in Cologne this year he launched a folding wooden chair made from old wooden broom handles – see all design by Reinier de Jong.

Other adjustable bookcases we've featured include a set of hinged boxes that spin round to create different patterns and a set of modular units with chairs hidden inside them – see all bookcases.

Photographs are by Peter van Dijk.

A new and improved REK bookcase

More than four years after we designed and created the very first REK bookcase for a private client, we have taken a few significant steps forward. REK has a new finish, is much lighter and we have made some great photos of it.

What are books worth when there is internet, smart phones, tablets and e-readers? Not much at first sight. However, it is exactly these digital developments that enhance the appreciation of books. No longer functional carriers of information but rather artefacts representing one’s identity. It is not so much about the quantity of books anymore but what counts is a well-considered selection of quality books. Book shelves are therefore changing as well, from purely functional pieces of furniture to unique design pieces, equally important as the books they hold.

REK was designed back in 2008 by Reinier de Jong as a bookcase that grows with your book collection. The fewer the books, the smaller the bookcase. The zigzag-shaped parts slide in and out to accommodate books in the resulting spaces. The books can also be arranged according to their size. The narrow spaces are excellent for magazines.

The maximum dimensions of REK are: 202 x 228 x 36 cm. The original REK bookcase is finished with white HPL which gives it a cool and abstract look.

We recently introduced a new finish at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne: recycled HPL by Abet Laminati. The solid grey material creates a warm and intriguing result, especially on the edges where it looks as if it is seamlessly folded around the shelves. It is light grey with a texture that people associate with fine concrete or grey cardboard. REK is also available in a dark grey version of this material.

Furthermore, the new REK has lost weight. It has the same dimensions as the first one but weighs only 80 kg. A lot easier to transport but above all, easier to slide. We have also improved the guidance and added a stop, making sure the parts do not slide out too far.

REK can be ordered directly from us. Price is on request