The history of a fireplace dates back to the ancient times when humankind learned how to tame fire. Not limited to solely its utilitarian functions of cooking food and bringing heat, the fireplace has ever since been a dominant element of the interior. Even now, when our lives are dominated by the use of electric devices, watching an open fire evokes our genetic memory, bringing us closer to inner self while giving us a sense of protection and comfort.
Opposed to the idea of separation between flames and the space in traditional firewood stoves, Seoul based product designer Jeong Kim has envisioned Contact Surface, a stove that also works as an ornamental piece for the interior. Rather than disconnecting the flame from the place by confining it within a black frame, this fireplace showcases flames in their captivating brilliance.
The design is as functional as it is visually appealing. It encompasses a glass door with various color gradients and a lever on the side to lock and unlock it. Rather than being swung open in a traditional way, the door opens vertically, keeping the hot glass safely away from the user’s touch. A regulator at the top controls the flow of oxygen into the stove, and a removable bin serves to collect and dispose of any ash or other particles that might accumulate.
The stove has been designed for Weekend-Works, a design group that was formed to work at various design projects at weekends.
Faro by designers Rui Pereira and Ryosuke Fukusada is a mini fireplace created with an intention to use fire to bring people together. This fire source can be placed either indoors or outdoors through the use of an ethanol burner. The user may also choose to use wood instead of ethanol when placing it outdoors.
The designers hope the users will come up with numerous diverse ways of using the fire source depending on the various designs of the pieces it is composed of – red clay pottery, hammered copper and aluminium that have been produced utilizing different craft techniques in Portugal, Japan and Italy. The use of natural materials aims to evoke reference to the traditional wood-stove oven.
Ascendance by Metaplace Industries is a standalone fireplace made from petrified wood, fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation that have been formed over millions of years through a process called permineralization. The process involves transformation of the tree’s original organic matter into minerals.
The cellular structure of wood is nevertheless preserved which keeps the tree’s appearance intact. Having taken on the traditional characteristics of stone, both in functionality and aesthetics, petrified wood does not burn.
Each Ascendance is made of an individual trunk, below which a custom concrete base is constructed. Its hollow core houses a low-voltage natural gas burner, controlled by remote control or bluetooth compatibility.