Sou Fujimoto designs hybrid bookshelf and chair for Alias

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Bookchair by Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto designs hybrid bookshelf and chair for Alias

Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto's Bookchair slots in and out of its surrounding shelving to double as both storage and seating.

Bookchair by Sou Fujimoto

Designed for Italian brand Alias, the furniture is embedded with a chair-shaped element. The chair fits into a cut-out section of the shelf, allowing it to slide out of the surrounding furniture as well as be unobtrusively stored when not in use.

The chair is minimal in appearance, as is the entire bookshelf, with a sinuous seat and back formed from a single piece of wood.

Bookchair by Sou 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," said Fujimoto, who placed 15th on Dezeen Hot List.

"The bookcase becomes an element of the environment where it is installed, playing an active, continually changing role," added Alias. The brand recently launched a similarly hybrid set of furniture by Nendo, which blended tabletops with giant bowls.

Bookchair by Sou Fujimoto

Bookchair is made from wooden fibre panels. The brand has only made it available in white to emphasise the "strong ties between the content and the container".

Alias was set up in 1979, with a focus on using innovative materials and technology. Its first product was the Spaghetti chair, by Giandomenico Belotti, which featured a seat and back made from woven PVC, and is now included in the Museum of Modern Art's collection.

Bookchair by Sou Fujimoto

Since then the brand has released wooden chairs with plexiglass backs by Eugeni Quitllet, and partnered with Patrick Norguet to create outdoor furniture for McDonalds.

Fujimoto is perhaps best known for his 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. He has also designed a seashell-covered arts venue in Guangzhou, a retail complex in Miami and, more recently, a light installation for fashion brand COS.

Other shelf designs aimed at book-lovers include Folkform's Revolving Bookcases, and Sebastian Bergne's near-invisible Fiction stand.