Here’s a new contribution to the pool of clever and descriptive terminology for the multiform shapes and sizes of contemporary A & D: “topographical.” The product that promotes this new vocabulary is the Hillside modular storage system (for Arflex), and the originator of same is the indefatigable Architecture/Design trio called Claesson Koivisto Rune. Ever more prevalent among the roster of prominent figures in our discipline, CKR was especially visible on 3rings this spring, receiving product reviews in both March and April (Kilt Cabinet and W 101). Hillside seems especially apropos for this mid-summer apex of early August, when the peaks and vales of mountains are at their most verdant.
Hillside. Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Arflex.
The hillscapes of CKR’s native Sweden are a fitting counterpart to the challenging topography of Hillside as well, which—through a daring juxtaposition of square, rectangular, and trapezium-shaped individual cabinets—achieves a rolling profile that matches the Scandinavian landscape. If you’re a bit rusty on your high school geometry, that last term refers to a four-sided figure with two parallel sides and two oblique sides. As concerns Hillside, the inclusion of this particular contour creates the angular undulations—the virtual peaks and valleys—that gives the storage units their mountainous aesthetic.
The collection includes floor and wall-mounted sideboards, allowing for an intriguing juxtaposition of flat shelves, open bookcases, and closed storage. Hillside comes in a variety of contemporary colors, including a rich red rust, a robin’s egg blue, and an egg yolk yellow. From one perspective, the vibrancy of the color scheme may depart from the mountain metaphor, but from another, it perfectly matches the all-too-brief summer profusion of hillside wildflowers. In the end, however, the innovative shape of Hillside makes the greatest impression, and that, according to CKR, is the main objective: “today’s architects are trying to go beyond the ‘box’, bringing in new angles and expressions of form… by combining different storage formats together in each unit, new, unexpected and even sculptural furniture silhouettes can be created.”