Projects & Improvements

These Bookcases Aren’t What They Appear To Be

published Sep 17, 2017
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(Image credit: Fran Parente | Yatzer)

You can perhaps blame it on having watched too much Scooby-Doo as a kid, but the idea of secret passages fascinates me. So I love it when architects incorporate a little mystery into their designs—secret rooms, hidden doors, or, in this case, a whole wall of bookcases that turns out to not be a wall at all.

(Image credit: Fran Parente | Yatzer)

The apartment where the bookcases appear is the home of an art collector, in São Paulo, Brazil, designed by Consuelo Jorge. The space, designed to be equal parts art gallery and family home, is in no way conventional, and this extends to the way rooms are divided. Although this wall of bookcases may appear to be a typical wall at first, it’s anything but, with each individual bookcase rotating to allow passage into a neighboring room. With all the bookcases opened, the two adjoining spaces become one, and the bookcase becomes a sort of sculptural feature.

(Image credit: Fran Parente | Yatzer)

The artwork scattered throughout the space contributes to the playful, almost surreal atmosphere. Notable pieces include a chair that looks like a toilet, and a giant, coiled sculpture that resembles a lock of hair.

(Image credit: Fran Parente | Yatzer)

Even before you get to the mysterious bookcase wall, the message is clear: this is a place where you should expect the unexpected.

To see more of the apartment, including some very unusual art pieces, check out the full tour at Yatzer.