Danish design company String Furniture has reimagined the classic Pira shelf for the 21st century.
Olle Pira was a master cabinet-maker who created pieces in cherry, maple and oak using centuries-old craftsmanship and was the first Swede to win a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1952. He’s best known for the Pira shelf, which made its debut at one of Scandinavian design’s watershed moments: the Helsingborg Exhibition of 1955, known as H55, an expo of architecture, industrial design and furniture where “Scandi modern” was first introduced to the world stage.
Now, Swedish design company String Furniture, working with architect Anna von Schewen and industrial designer Björn Dahlström, has reinterpreted his design as the Pira G2. Available exclusively in Australia at Great Dane Furniture, the Pira G2 embraces a modern aesthetic – but with a gentle nod to the 1950s.
“The ambition was never to design a retro-style piece of furniture but rather to embrace the core idea behind the original Pira and create a taller, wider version,” says Björn.
Thanks to it frame, the Pira G2 is architectural in expression while being elegant and robust. “The central point in the design is the pole, which makes the floor-to-ceiling tensioned shelf possible, completely free-standing,” says Anna. “Another important feature is how the shelves themselves wrap around the poles to connect, as if they were one piece.”
The shelves are made from lacquered steel sheets and the poles from extruded aluminium, while the cabinets and bookends are available in walnut or white oak, bringing a warmth to the metal elements. The modular G2 can be free-standing or wall-mounted and is equally well-suited to larger living areas or public spaces. The shelves have been tested and approved to bear loads of up to 50 kilograms.
Bo Hellberg, String Furniture’s chief marketing officer, says the company is thrilled to be launching the reimagined shelf. “It has a unique, contemporary design, architectural presence and casually commands a space – especially as a room divider.”