How an Unexpected Design Becomes Iconic

porro load-it in black stained ash and steel

Visual delicacy and light and bright tones distinguish the Modern+Load-it composition for the living area, which combines the steel shelves and avorio glossy lacquered wall panels of Load-it with the national walnut hanging elements, open or with hinged doors, in dialogue with the Modern travertine board.


December 19, 2022

Wolfgang Tolk has been bringing predominantly stainless steel and wood prototypes to life as minimalist objects for 30-plus years, working with great industrial designers like Ingo Maurer. In 1995 he designed the clearly iconic Load-it bookshelving system for Porro—a standard that continues to resonate today as it seems to jut out from the wall with its thin yet load-bearing L-shaped shelves. Today Load-it is one of the most popular pieces of the Porro collection.

“There are projects that—thanks to their iconicity and functional flexibility—have the ability to renew themselves without ever losing identity. This is Porro’s Load-it bookcase, a perpetual classic in continuous innovation,” says Maria Porro, marketing and communication manager at Porro. “Its essential idea, at the same time static and aesthetic, led to a complete and transversal system, ideal for composing wall architectures and boiserie, while keeping the DNA of the original project, harmonious and timeless, combining the purest features and intrinsic simplicity.”

Load-it has maintained its value over the years both for its classic simplicity with clean lines and its new functions and styles. Today it’s more than a bookshelf—it can work as a modern entertainment center or workstation, too.

The original all-white bookcase evolved from its monochromatic feel in the ’90s to simple black and steel to today’s still classic but modern offering of various metallic finishes—be it burnished brass, grigio porfido, or rosso antico—and a mix of timeless fabrics and textures.

Light brings even more life to Load-it. The system features a directional LED spotlight in black painted aluminum that can be placed anywhere along the electrified profile under the shelf thanks to its magnetic connection, so objects on the shelves can be illuminated in a museum-like way by directing the beam.

load-it in white

Load-it is made up of thin L-shaped shelves in highly resistant, wax-finished steel, as well as painted in white or in the special burnished brass, grigio porfido, or rosso antico finishes.

A magazine cover