German design legend Dieter Rams has lent his understated creative common sense to everything from razors to radios over the years. But the legacy that looks set to stick is in fact a simple aluminum shelving system, designed back in the Sixties.
Celebrating its 50th birthday this year, Vitsoe - the London-based company which lives, breathes and, of course, sells Rams’s iconic 606 shelving system - has dedicated itself to spreading the designer’s singular message.
Following the opening of a flagship store among the cobble-clad, café-lined streets of New York’s Bowery district this Autumn, and their integral involvement with Rams’s recent retrospective at London’s Design Museum - Vitsoe this month opened a Central London showroom, just a stone's throw from Selfridges.
Decked out in suitably pared-down form, stylistic splashes include vintage book lined 606 shelving units, immaculate parquet floors and the occasional brightly-coloured wall - including a distinctive canary yellow number, which – without wanting to ruffle any purist feathers – provides a tongue-in-cheek homage to the showroom’s giant retail neighbour.
Populated by a welcoming mix of Vitsoe’s perpetually helpful planners – eager to explain the ins, outs, ups and downs of each shelving configuration – the showroom provides a long overdue capital city showcase for Vitsoe’s adaptable design staple. Teo van den Broeke