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Molteni&C bookcase Graduate

| Designbest editorial staff

H

appy Birthday Graduate by Molteni&C, the bookcase designed in 2003 by Jean Nouvel.

Simple and striking at the same time, Graduate comes from a daring idea: to design a modular wall-mounted bookcase that would stand out for its lightness and simplicity (yet without giving up on its strength)

Jean Nouvel tackled this challenge brilliantly with a single shelf (wall-mounted or pendant from the ceiling). In fact, Graduate’s secret weapon lies in its top shelf; this structural component supports a brilliant system of tie-rods, similar to those used to build reinforced concrete foundations.

The outcomes: the weight is distributed evenly and effortlessly over the entire surface of the bookcase and the other wooden and aluminium shelves appear to be floating in mid air and move freely. In fact, the metal struts have many graduated notches that can be used to assemble the structure as we please (hence the name Graduate): once fixed the shelves, the uprights disappear completely and its lightness is apparent. But let's not be deceived: yes, Graduate is light, but it's extremely sturdy too and can easily support 120 kg of books and objects per meter.

Elegant, clean-cut, as well as dynamic and almost ethereal, Graduate is a brilliant engineering and architectural project that won the prestigious Red Dot Award as the best product of the year in 2005. And that today, 15 years later, is still a winner when it comes down to its innovation.

 

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