When you want to divide up a large open space without permanently modifying it, bookcases are often the way to go. They tend to be portable, at least somewhat modular, and offer the advantage of a little extra storage and display space. If you’re on a budget, nothing beats the IKEA Kallax shelf unit system, which is often used to create permeable dividing walls in loft apartments. But what if you’re looking for a higher-end look and a little more room for creativity?

Close-up view of the

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Jamais Content is a unique architectural room divider solution created by Atelier Marc Ferrand and produced by Italian furniture company Bottega Ghianda. The modular system is, first and foremost, a functional bookcase with large open square-shaped shelves. But it’s also the foundation for building your own rooms-within-rooms — even rounded ones. That’s the coolest part of this kit of parts. You can assemble them to create organically shaped spaces in your desired proportions and forms.

Circular bookcase created from the modular

The modular bookcase is made of individual pieces of citronnier, a type of wood sourced from Ceylon Island, along with a satin-finished brass “cross” element that acts as a decorative fastener. Small brass bolts connect the wooden elements to the crosses and to each other for stability. The wood shelves come in two different sizes, and a leather door is available as an optional add-on to create “a fascinating interplay of solids and voids.” The process is meant to be experimental. If you build something and don’t like it, or your needs change, just start over. The name, Jamais Content, translates to “never satisfied” in English.

The possibilities of this system seem virtually endless. Sure, you could create linear installations, much like you would with any other modular bookcase or room divider system, but the ability to produce rounded rooms is just too fun to resist. Imagine creating a little rounded office, reading room, meditation space, or study area for kids within your living room. As Ferrand explains, Jamais Content is architecture, enveloping and protecting like any other shelter.

Cross detail connecting panels of the Jamais Content bookcase.

Rendered in sophisticated materials with a focus on fine craftsmanship, Jamais Content is definitely a step up (okay, quite a few steps up) from IKEA. Based near Lake Como in Italy, Bottega Ghianda is a leader in Italian cabinetmaking known for its expertise with wood. That 200-year-old reputation shines through in this piece.

About Atelier Marc Ferrand

As the designer’s website explains: “The work of Marc Ferrand, nourished by minimalist forms, is characterized by a reflection on the temporal nature of matter and its relationship to architecture, creating a design that evolves with time and each imagination. A designer who graduated from the École Bleue (Paris, 2006), Marc Ferrand became the same year a collaborator with the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, for whom he was responsible for the design of nomadic and temporary architectures.”

Small office area created inside a circular

“In this capacity, he was notably in charge of the Hermès Pavilion in Milan, the Shiseido Pavilion for the Venice Biennale of Arts, and the Paper Tower for the London Design Festival. Atelier Marc Ferrand develops industrial design projects with international publishers, designs reconstruction projects, and pursues research on forms and their relationship to the body and architecture.”