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900 years in 30 seconds, A quick blaze through fireplace design.

October 31, 2016

The traditional wall fireplace wasn’t widespread until the 12th century.1_0

In the beginning of that century, we’ve continued to see Central fireplaces as seen in ancient Grecian and Roman houses, where fireplaces were not used to heat the room, but to bake bread and cook meals.

The heat generated from those open air ovens was a byproduct of the cooking process and eventually led our known fireplaces of

In the twelfth century, the fireplace is a semicircular niche carved into the wall and surmounted by a conical hood. We can find huge ones in Cistercian or Benedictine’s abbeys large kitchens. Harsh and powerful, these chimneys, in Roman times, were an important part of the architecture and their components were integrated in the walls and vaults.img_1614

Gradually, fireplaces served as a mean of heat and ended up winning a space in the halls of castles.tuscany_casadeifrati_05

In the thirteenth century the first rectangular chimneys with jambs and monolithic stone appeared. These Gothic fireplaces were also an essential element of decoration. The chimney widens and takes monumental shapes, forms and architecture.pandino-lecabanon-022

An interesting typical feature in Gothic fireplaces is that they do not have any elevated hearths.

During the Renaissance era, we watched a decrease interest in Gothic art.
The carvers of the Renaissance wanted to return to traditional forms inherited from ancient times, which were considered as a model of harmony.79ideas_gorgeous_old_coffee_table_leather_chairs

The term “Gothic” was first used to describe medieval art, with a pejorative connotation. It is referred to GOTHS, barbarians, looters invaders.pl014

With Gothic art being disdained, people opted to destroy Gothic cathedrals or let them fall into ruins without giving them their much needed maintenance.the_ruined_abbeys_of_englanddsc_0107_2

But despite this disdain, Gothic style will yet be re-discovered in the first half of the sixteenth century.

In the sixteenth century, Charles V decided to apply a tax on chimneys. Which, perhaps, at that time was considered a tax on the ‘wealthy’.178_8086_1920

The Seventeen and eighteen century saw a complete mixtures of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Louis Style and Flemish Fireplaces, a re-visitation of Tudor and the Jacobean styles.238619543_703edb0a79

The past two centuries were dominated by art Nouveaux, classicism, directoire, Mannerism, Rococo, Gothic-Revival, Spanish-Revival, French Provence and Dordogne, Bastide and Bohemian style fireplaces.aa2211ca47f8ee3f3246ed5ad8dfab7e

Ancient Surfaces is billed on the tradition of bespoke stone fireplace building.

We’ve been building and reclaiming countless architecture treasures from all across Europe and the southern Mediterranean regions. This love from old, weathered and distressed is evident across the endless international shelter magazines that we’ve been featured in over the years. This example below shows a restored gothic ruined full with colonials archways and even secret passages.

For more photos of our past featured projects please follow this link article_coveted_ancient_surfaces_dec_2014_sm

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