Friso Kramer Asmeta bookcases de Bijenkorf Netherlands 1953






Friso Kramer

Netherlands 1922 – 2019
Industrial designer

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Rare metal bookcase shelving unit designed by Friso Kramer for De Bijenkorf produced by Asmeta in 1953. Martin Visser commissioned Friso Kramer to design a simple usable shelving unit for de Bijenkorf. The beautiful combination of colours reflected the palette of de Bijenkorf in the 1950s, featuring dark blue sides and vivid yellow backsides. This particular feature allowed for effortless customisation, enabling users to arrange the bookcase in any desired composition. This particular bookcase has a rare segment with folding doors, setting it apart from others since it was an optional piece and usually not included. Priced and sold in a set of 2.


De Bijenkorf is an exclusive departement store selling high-quality clothing brands, luxury watches, toys, books, and premium design items. This enduring bookcase represents a timeless symbol of craftsmanship and style, encapsulating the innovative spirit of mid-century design. With its clean lines and functional form, this Friso Kramer creation continues to be an example of Dutch modernism and a collector’s dream.


Kramer was part of the “Goed Wonen” (“Good Living”) foundation in the 1950s; a group committed to restoring the country’s war-damaged quality of life. Their working goal was to diminish the existence of the current “lack of style, scarcity of material and the housing shortage” caused by WWII. The members of the foundation gave lectures, exhibited their work widely in Amsterdam and put out a journal, which offered tips for and articles about modern living and the burgeoning modern style. The foundation enjoyed a strong impact on the community because of the innovative and successful collaboration forged between the designers, architects, manufacturers, retailers and customers. While he was a part of the group, Kramer created a series of moulded plywood and steel chairs, seemingly inspired by the contemporaneous work of the Eames, for the company De Cirkel. The chairs featured a rounded seat, which curved down gently at the edge and a separate, slightly cupped, back. This 1953 chair, called “Revolt,” was a popular icon of the emerging Dutch style at the 1954 Milan Triennial, where Kramer also exhibited a metal table and hanging cupboard.

Designer: Friso Kramer
Type: Asmeta bookcases
Manufacturer: Asmeta
Year: 1953
Country: The Netherlands
Materials: Painted steel
Condition: Good, original, with patina
Height: 195 cm
Width: 95 cm
Depth: 26 cm
Item nr: MID

Holland / Belgium: € Free
Europe: € 150 - 750
Outside Europe: € 750 - 1250

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