Vitsœ

606 Universal Shelving System

Dieter Rams

1960

original production 606 Universal Shelving System: single shelf 36 / 90 cm

606 Universal Shelving System: config A

Dieter Rams' 606 Universal Shelving System has been in continuous production since 1960. However, certain changes have been introduced along the way. One of the most significant has been the substitution of wooden shelves with alu endplates for bent steel shelves, once a special use item, now supplied by Vitsoe as standard. The virtue of the wooden shelf over the metal is largely aesthetic / design-historical.

Most significantly, it allows full expression of the 606 design's systematic character. According to the original intent, the system is comprehensively modular - every element, from cabinet and desk, draw unit to shelf cohering as variations of the same basic unit, that is, horizontal wooden element between vertical alu endplates. In its original form, the design overall is rigorously rectilinear. Arguably, this character is somewhat suppressed when the metal shelf is incorporated, particularly so when it appears as the predominant element. The system as first intended is rational, modular and, above all, systematic to a higher degree than its current production would suggest. It is also a degree more flexible. Shelves of any size may be inverted to produce an unbroken plane, allowing freer arrangement of objects when bookends are not required. We note that in his Kronberg home, Dieter Rams uses the metal shelf for load bearing in storage areas and the wooden shelf in the living...

Naturally, being Vitsoe, every element of the system offered on these pages may be integrated into an existing Vitsoe system, regardless of age or origin.

example held in MoMA permanent collection

price: on application