Both Kaare Klint, the father of Danish Modern furniture, and Thomas Jefferson, the father of awesomeness, had a similar idea about storing books.
Put them in individual boxes that suit their sizes. Stack the boxes on top of one another.
This was how Jefferson’s entire library (which later became the Library of Congress) was arranged. In fact, the books were transported from Monticello to Washington, D.C., by merely nailing a board on front of each unit and putting it in a carriage.
In Klint’s 1924 design for I.C.T. Levinsen, he stacked up boxes and then clad them in another carcase with tapered sides. The lower units were 19-1/2” tall and they became smaller with each unit above – 17”-7/32”, 15”-1/4”, 13-1/2” and 12” at the top.
As someone who built a recreation of the Monticello bookcases, I can tell you this: It makes for a fantastic bookcase that consumes a lot of material. I can only imagine adding the tapered sides would complicate construction and add material.
Still, they are cool.
— Christopher Schwarz
Images of Klint’s work are from Gorm Harkaer’s excellent monograph on Kaare Klint.