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Labyrinth (Interieur Awards – Object 2016)


‘Labyrinth’ by Inge Lagae is a functional bookcase commissioned by a passionate art book collector. Designed to preserve and supply the wealth his publications have to offer, this bookcase is meant to be at the heart of one’s home, like a centerpiece of the space.


The object consists of symmetric volumes structured around a diagonal axe. It plays with textures, volumes and depth. The design of ‘Labyrinth’ is packed with formal contrasts. Seen from the side, the bookcase is bold and full. It fills the space with an abundant presence. From up front however, the thin lines of the steel almost disappear, lending the object an unexpected lightness. It dominates and embraces the space at the same time.


The bookcase is developed to be made in waxed steel, wood and carbon fiber. The production will be kept local in small ateliers that value craftsmanship, detailed handwork and a perfect finish. ‘Labyrinth’ is part of the ‘Objet Particulier’ series, which contains other furniture both in steel and wood. In their realization, quality is the only criterion. Therefore attention is paid to the smallest details, such as a screw, the visibility of hinges, or the assembly of the steel.


Meant to be fully functional, ‘Labyrinth’ is adapted to the needs of its owner. It is therefore mathematically calculated for heavy duty, to carry the maximum of library weight possible. Yet, during the course of its lifetime it may not only contain books, but also magazines, gadgets, art, or even left void. This latter is a formal option for the owner, which will turn its shape into a graphic sculpture, defining the walls, or dividing between two spaces.


‘Labyrinth’ has therefore not been designed to fit into a certain kind of space or interior style. The bookcase could be fit in any kind of environment, without the need for context. The object is only in need of content, which will be added by the owner. It is this co-creation between furniture and human that will define the object’s visual character and function. ‘Labyrinth’ will therefore at any moment fit the future owner like a glove, pulling together not only the space around him, yet also his safeguarded collection.


(Text by Annelies Thoelen)