Last chance to see: Marc Newson’s shelves are a lesson in simplicity

The release of Marc Newson’s new modular shelves for Galerie Kreo, ‘Quobus’, ties in with the opening of the gallery's new space in Mayfair, London (until 20 November 2021)

Colourful shelves
‘Quobus’ shelving system by Marc Newson for Galerie Kreo.
(Image credit: © Sylvie Chan-Liat courtesy of Galerie Kreo)

Marc Newson has unveiled a new set of shelves at Galerie Kreo (on view at the gallery until 20 November 2021). ‘Quobus’, a modular shelving design cast in metal and enamel, is open to interpretation, allowing for countless variations. The shelves play on the traditional grid format with an exploration of shapes and patterns, creating spaces of different sizes that can be altered at will, making this piece great as a bookcase design or for displaying objects.

The horizontal and vertical units encompass Newson’s pure design philosophy, staying faithful to the wishes he has noted in the past: ‘

I hope to propose a series of objects, furniture, that is simply effective and aesthetic.’

Encapsulating this simplicity in a range of hues, from soft sorbet to boldly graphic black and white, the pieces juxtapose the curved lines of the silhouette against the structure’s angular form. The cube can be extended or shortened, filled or left empty.

Marc Newson shelves: fun and functional

White shelves with a silver vase in it

(Image credit: press)

The design draws on research commissioned by Newson when creating Taschen’s Milan bookstore in 2015. The distinctive cube-like design, then as here, conforms to the need to be both practical and aesthetically pleasing in its own right. When used for its original purpose it disappears, but becomes a sculpture in its own right when left empty.

Space and light are at the heart of the design, while the details are typically carefully considered, with the curved forms of the joins – which encompass gleaming round brass screws – becoming a sensual foil for the grid-like structure of the whole.

The launch of the designs ties in with a new era for Galerie Kreo, which is moving from its former home off London’s Berkeley Square to a larger gallery space in the heart of Mayfair, managed by director Clara Krzentowski. The space will kick off with an inaugural exhibition showcasing new work by Newson, who has presented three major exhibitions at the gallery and worked with the Kreo team for two decades.

Black and white shelving unit

(Image credit: © Sylvie Chan-Liat courtesy of Galerie Kreo / © Alexandra de Cossette courtesy of Galerie Kreo)

brightly coloured shelving units

(Image credit: © Sylvie Chan-Liat courtesy of Galerie Kreo / © Alexandra de Cossette courtesy of Galerie Kreo)

Brightly coloured shelving unit with a lamp on top

(Image credit: © Sylvie Chan-Liat courtesy of Galerie Kreo / © Alexandra de Cossette courtesy of Galerie Kreo)


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.