Cantilevered granite forms developed
by Zaha Hadid for Citco shelving


Milan 2014: architect Zaha Hadid has cantilevered a series of elongated strips of black granite to create a fluid storage unit for Italian brand Citco.

Tela Shelving by Zaha Hadid for CITCO

Zaha Hadid's Tela Shelving for Citco is carved from a single piece of black granite into interlinked elements, to make the heavy stone look as weightless as possible.

"Tela is a shelving system characterised by an interesting dichotomy: the solidity of the black granite of which it is composed seemingly dissipates with the elongated cantilevers," said Hadid.

Shelves are connected to each other by sloping sections that support the cantilevers on both sides, so each of the three levels looks like a wavy line when viewed straight on.

Tela Shelving by Zaha Hadid for CITCO

This group of connections is offset from the centre of the unit and make the shelves appear to have been pulled up from a single flat piece of stone.

"At the centre of the configuration, its structural core, are the interweaved shelves which appear to open and unfold from a single surface to follow parallel trajectories," Hadid said.

Citco displayed the shelving on its stand at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which concluded on Sunday.

Photographs are by Jacopo Spilimbergo.

  • Z-dog

    Perfection. They should keep one in a robust case for a design museum.

    • jos

      They should keep all of them in robust cases, and never take them out.

  • How is this constructed? This appears as an impossible object. Granite isn’t the biggest fan of being cantilevered.

    • Amit

      I totally agree. Completely flawed design, I doubt you can actually USE this as a shelf – it is just a “showpiece”.

    • Ko lrabi

      Insert steel rods, epoxy, final shaping and polishing. It’s a standard practice with granite fabricators. Fat people can sit on it as it’s very strong.

      • Interesting. I am really fascinated to how they handle the transfer of those tension loads from the rods. How does one set a steel joint into granite?

  • Jlo

    That looks amazing!

  • Johan

    Copyright Claude Parent.

  • chris

    Inspired from a split – level building.

  • dan

    Sorry to jump on the anti-Zaha bandwagon but it’s just such a typical waste of material – shows how little respect she has for it.

    • Tyler

      Ugh, I know. At least 95% of the original block of granite used for this piece is wasted material. And any student in an architecture school can make that form in Rhino. There is NOTHING innovative here. Makes me sick.

    • Ko lrabi

      It’s not cut from a monolith. It is seamed, reinforced with steel rods, shaped and polished.