There are enough “floating shelf” designs floating around the internet to make a whole separate Pinterestesque website dedicated to them and their unstable storage promises. Raketa’s Circulum shelf offers top-down storage with few of the standard flaws.
Hanging shelves are prone to a few flaws: the swinging effect that can spill your goods, the lack of bookends or firm sides to trap your goods, and large visual footprint. The Slovenian architecture and design team knows how to balance aesthetics and structural needs, and this project tackles each of these pretty elegantly.
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The central design element that makes the Circulum shelves appealing is the way the circular platform is weighted from below. Adding a pendulum-like weight to the base, the symmetrical tabletop gains stability and interesting visual balance. Harder to set the whole thing spinning if you put your book down a little too enthusiastically.
The collection takes on shelving security in a couple ways, depending on the materials chosen. Offered in a range of hardwoods, metals, leather and marble, the base is shaped into either a gentle dish or a lipped tray. The curve/lip is dramatic enough to trap even small and skittery items (earrings, pills, vintage marbles bought at haunted estate sales) and keep them stashed in minimalist decor/maximalist style.
Lastly, the fine wire hanging system lets the “floating” shelf really appear to float. The narrow steel line leaves the thick base and shelf materials to pull nearly all of the aesthetic weight, hovering like a minimalist midair spinning top. A bit of an understatement compared with the floor to ceiling rope hanging that similarly named designs fall back on.
The point blank visual simplicity is obviously not simple to pull off, and the team’s smart use of materials and weight fairly earned them a 2017 Red Dot nod. More on Raketa’s Circulum tables and other architectural work here.