Basso Shelf System by Thomas Feichtner for Eternit

Basso is a minimalist shelving system developed by Thomas Feichtner for production by Eternit, an Austrian company founded in 1894. It is modular in the sense that the shelf is made up of several stackable components that can be arranged in a multitude of different ways to create a shelf suitable for any space that is available.

Similarly to the plywood MoModul modular shelf, there are three different module sizes. However Basso units are held together with simple round pegs that sit in notches rather than the interlocking grooves that hold MoModul together. This simple solution is very elegant and makes it very quick and easy to configure a shelf. The dimensions of the different modules are also multiples of the other modules to make them compatible with one another for a neat fit.


The shelving blocks are made up of fibrous cement, the same material we see on the exterior panels of the ÁPH80 portable houses by Ábaton Architects. This is a remarkable material that is surprisingly light weight, weather resistant and easily moulded into complex shapes such as Willy Guhl’s iconic loop chair which is also produced by Eternit. It has a raw minimalistic appearance similar to that of concrete although it is much more environmentally friendly.

The only flaw I can see with the Basso shelving system is that the base of each unit isn’t flat as they have to accommodate the round pegs. This could make it awkward to house medium to larger sized objects such as record players but they should be perfect for smaller items such as books.

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