There are substantial benefits to wood-burning stoves. For starters, they run on dead trees, which are a renewable resource, unlike oil, gas, or coal. And they allow you to lower your thermostat, effectively slashing your utility bill. But if you’re a modernist, there’s a decided aesthetic drawback: Black iron furnaces conjure up life on the prairie rather than in a glass house.
But here’s a design that even hard-core minimalists can cozy up to: Stack, a modular, fully customizable ceramic system, by the Italian studio Adriano Design, that combines Italian craftsmanship with a contemporary aesthetic. The collection consists of five round and three square stackable units–handmade at the Castellamonte workshop in Turin–that can be stacked into a stove that is as much a piece of sculpture as a functional heater. And the designers say that ceramic is highly energy-efficient since it retains heat longer than metal.