Egle Amaldi’s bookshelf & modernist Cado shelving

Italian architect Egle Amaldi's own living room

These staggered, airy midcentury modern arrangements are so much less chichi than the many fancified contemporary bookshelves you see around.

I love this simple, balanced living room belonging to Italian architect Egle Amaldi in the 1960s. The bookshelf—its shape and the way it spans the whole width—is probably the key to the room. It is somewhat reminiscent of Cado shelving, named after Danish designer Poul Cadovius, even though its shelves are longer and it’s missing the characteristic cabinets and other boxy components. (See an excellent example at kitkadesign and below.) Its verticals are visually interesting, and objects look particularly good on the syncopated horizontal levels. How hard would this be to DIY? Probably not that hard. More photos of this type of bookcase in the book “The Modern Room” which also features work by Amaldi. People say that the contemporary versions of these are RAKKS and ISS, but I prefer the simplicity of the one above. Some DIY ideas for Cado shelving and “pole” shelving (where the supports are poles fixed to ceiling and floor, rather than wall-mounted) can be found on the Pole Shelving blog. If you’re in Vancouver, there are often Cado-style units at Fabulous Finds and Attic Treasures.

Paul Cadovius Royal System wall unit, in Pesaro, Italy

Paul Cadovius Royal System wall unit

Below, more classic Cado shelving from Flickr.

My cado system...needs a magazine rack and more shelves

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11 Responses to “Egle Amaldi’s bookshelf & modernist Cado shelving”

  1. Pole shelving - turn this ugly example into something better | Ouno Design Says:

    […] « Egle Amaldi’s bookshelf & modernist Cado shelving […]

  2. Says:

    I love those shelving units! Every now and then some of them will be listed on our site. You should have a look through the ad listings for yourself!

  3. Juli Says:

    Thanks for the link to our site! It’s funny because we came across your site thanks to my mom, who was researching about her Cado wall unit. She just sent me the link yesterday. Nice site by the way!

  4. Egle Amaldi MidCentury Pole Shelving | Pole Shelving Says:

    […] Design says on their blog that mid-century Italian architect Egle Amaldi’s “staggered, airy midcentury modern […]

  5. Joseph Says:

    I need to purchase some parts and maybe another unit for my Cado System, which is free standing.

    How may I obtain a catalog?

  6. Kathryn Says:

    I am looking for replacement hardware. A triangular three pronged metal bracket for the shelf to connect to the post. Any leads on where I can find this?

  7. Kathryn Says:

    I am looking for replacement hardware. A triangular three pronged metal bracket for the shelf to connect to the post. Any leads on where I can find this? Thank you

  8. LB Says:

    Sorry, I have no idea! But if readers of this post do, please let Kathryn know here!

  9. CTDave Says:

    Replacement parts to the Cado system are difficult to find but I periodically do a GOOGLE search and try to bid on items on Ebay. My Cado system is a free-standing unit in teak with 4 poles, two cabinets and several shelves. I am always looking for new pieces to add, especially rare pieces like the folding desk, or glass front cabinets.
    I have a rare brass cabinet key that I would be glad to make a duplicate from. Email me if you have pieces to sell or need a key.

  10. Neil Says:

    We have the original Cado system and wish to add more shelves. Where can I find them?

  11. LB Says:

    Sorry – this is just a blog. No idea! Anyone?

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