Hypóstila, 1979


with Lluís Clotet

Producer: Bd Barcelona Design



Delta de oro 1980

This shelf was designed as a sturdier version of the Hialina for heavier loads. The latter, attached to the wall in the form of a cornice was designed to support light household or bathroom objects. Heavier loads such as books were impossible, not due to the shelf surface itself but due to its being attached to the wall. Now the challenge was to create a shelf system suitable for heavier loads. The solution was to provide support from the floor as opposed to the wall; this was the origin of the name: hypo, beneath; stylos, column; - a surface or ceiling supported by columns. The aluminium shelf surface, rests bridge-like on the uprights and its surface area peters inwards towards the sides where less support is needed. Although the shelf is attached to the wall for stability, the load is taken by the floor. The resistance of the aluminium framework was calculated by the civil engineer Jesús Jiménez, one of OTB's regular collaborators.
    The promotional photograph, with Clotet sitting on the top shelf, showed just how solid the support was despite its fragile appearance. This is one of the exceptional pieces from the Clotet-Tusquets "neutral design" period and continues to be their best-seller after various redesigns and the addition of complements, one of which was in 1999 in collaboration with Enric Miralles. The other models based on this one have been: Cristalina y Esbelta (1998) and Suma y Exenta (2000), which offer wide-ranging and ingenious variations on the original system.