Vitsoe 606 Universal Shelving System — designed in 1960 and in continuous production ever since

Good design endures. Today’s case in point: Vitsoe’s 606 Universal Shelving System. Designed in 1960 by Dieter Rams, this modular shelving system has been in production ever since. Isn’t it beautiful! Photos courtesy Vitsoe. 

retro mod decor
Photo of Ben Sander-designed den courtesy of Everett Short Photography.

I originally saw this Vitsoe classic in the Bicentennial Chic den — shown above — created by Ben Sander. I guess all the red, white, and blue flummoxed me, because at the time, I kinda blew right by the Vitsoe unit. 

But I recently spotlighted Ben’s design on my homepage, and there was that Vitsoe again. Doesn’t it look fantastic: The way that Ben tucked it right under the bulkhead and then, set it against that dark cork tile wall … his mashup of ’60s sleek with carefully curated, super tidy ’70s kitsch — I spy: an oak bucket waste basket — the whole room is absolutely dreamy!

Oh my. Why hadn’t I looked into and then written about that Vitseo before, especially since finding era-appropriate storage and shelving solutions is always of interest on the blog. So here we come: Vitsoe love fest 2018!

Founded by Danish entrepreneur Niels Vitsoe in 1959, Vitsoe was launched specifically to bring Dieter Ram’s furniture design ideas to life. 

Dieter Rams

The company explains the 606:

Free of ostentation, a small number of simple components allow easy assembly and rearrangement. At the core of the shelving system is the aluminum E-Track that is attached directly to the wall. Shelves, cabinets and tables are hung from the E-Track by slipping aluminum pins into place. If no wall is available the E-Track may be attached to an aluminum X-Post. The system can then stand on the floor and avoid obstructions allowing it to be installed in a wide variety of environments.

The 606 Universal Shelving System was the company’s first product and remains, today, among three Rams-designed products in the company’s line. Now based in London, Vitsoe is also interesting in that they sell direct to the customer — there are no other retailers — so, you get 1:1 service straight from the company. The shelving is not inexpensive. That said: A classic. An original. It’s meant to travel with you, when you move. And like the design itself, surely meant to last a lifetime, and beyond.

It seems strange to crow about how beautiful a shelving unit can be. But: Oh my, so beautiful! 

More info:

  1. Alison says:

    I have a component shelving and cabinet set made of wood with Colonial type curves. I got it from someone remodeling a 70’s era den. Everything is hung with L-shaped metal pegs from wooden rails that attach to the wall. It includes straight and corner shelves, multiple cabinet sizes and a corner desk piece. I would love to find out more about it, I did not see any labels when we installed it so if someone knows please tell me.

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