This architecture-bookcase that can be infinitely modulated

The French designer Marc Ferrand together with Bottega Ghianda created a bookcase that takes various shapes in space, using a simple extruded brass cross that connects the joists.

This article was originally published on Domus 1071, September 2022.

“Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.” This statement attributed to the Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes refers to the discovery of the concepts of leverage, and also went down in history as an indication of how the right push can lead to great achievements.

In the case of the French designer Marc Ferrand, the invention is a cross in extruded brass. Brilliant in its simplicity, it helps to create a “small wooden beam” structure and is the basic element of the infinitely modular bookcase Jamais Content, meaning “never satisfied”.

As long as the depth of the shelves, the cross-shaped element connects and interlocks all the vertical and horizontal surfaces. It can assume countless forms and arrangements: sinuous like a snake or enveloping like a Berber tent

Jamais Content, Marc Ferrand, Bottega Ghianda. Courtesy Bottega Ghianda
Detail of the joint for the bookcase Jamais Content, Marc Ferrand, Bottega Ghianda. Courtesy Bottega Ghianda

Made by Bottega Ghianda in solid wood (walnut or citronnier), with details in satin-finished brass and leather panels, “Jamais Content is architecture,” explains Ferrand. “There is no object more valuable than a book, and a bookcase is the architecture hosting and protecting them.” Known for his designs with nomadic and temporary structures, which he learnt to master by working alongside Shigeru Ban, Ferrand has a poetic approach to design (“Admiring the sea and horizon is the most important thing when I design,” he says), as well as a predilection for minimal forms, the relationship between body and architecture, and designs that evolve over time and which, since 2017, he has worked on with his atelier.

“This collaboration with Bottega Ghianda,” he concludes, “originated from the desire to create an architectural object with fine materials and exceptional know-how. Designing with Romeo Sozzi is a tale of passion based on an extraordinary knowledge of wood and craftsmanship.”

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