It is technically a bit untrue (most of the time) that one can ‘run out’ of space. Consider the overhead area between yourself and the ceiling, for example. Sure, you want to keep it so you feel comfortable and to allow natural and artificial light to percolate through spaces … but a lot of it is not even necessary for those secondary needs.
This simple modern design by Danny Kuo blends aspects of classic studies and libraries with present-day sensibilities about craft, materiality and saving space. Lower wooden boxes slide out to become steps from which one can reach upper shelves and cabinets.
Since the staircase functionality is built-in, there is no need for the traditional rolling ladder or staircase-on-wheels one associates with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. This, in turn, helps save even more space.
Beyond the big idea, the details are treated with exquisite precision, too, with woodwork that is appealing to the eye and solid to the touch for each of the many pieces involved. Finally, the fact that each wood box is an independent module makes it possible to swap out one type for another as needed, placing more emphasis on cabinet-style, swing-open spaces or sliding drawers depending on what kind of storage is desired. This product would lend itself exceedingly well to mass-customization.