Gigabyte Bookcase (2010)

As makers we can look at the evolution of digitalization with mixed feelings. More and more functions are put into ever- smaller digital devices. While this is a victory for nature and the environment, simultaneously a whole material world is being lost.

With the rise of, for example, the e-reader, we wondered whether the paper book—with its whole experience of scent, size and material sense—would disappear in the future. For a long time, books and bookshelves were inseparable from our living rooms. I have always found the bookcase in someone’s living room to be an interesting mirror of their identity. The Gigabyte Bookcase addresses the disappearance of shape, volume and material in the digital world and somehow makes it a monument for ones treasured books and their smell, form and feel in general. It can contain as many books as an early e-reader (a GB of information). The bookcase is an example of an object of an uncommon scale, combining the craftsmanship of an architectural model maker and structural engineers. It is 5.6 m high in glass, stainless steel and polyconcrete, partly made in the architectural model-making workshop of Vincent de Rijk.