Ceramic is a completely recyclable material; it does not release toxic substances, is non flammable and easy to clean and maintain. It is the materiel of choice for the most prestigious names in fine design and architecture.
The great thinker Heraclitus gave the world one of the most resounding truths in history when he said panta rei kai ouden menei or, more commonly, everything changes, nothing remains the same. The philosophy expanded on this by postulating that everything is transitory, insubstantial and therefore unsatisfactory - an idea that makes even more sense today, when we live on a diet of social networks and fleeting trends.
we experience this reality in our culture, in fashion and also, of course, in architecture and interior design. However, in the same way as books draw on the classics that outlive the passage of time and clothing revives designs created by the great masters of the trade decades ago, architects have always chosen ceramic, largely because of the attributes it brings to any given space.
Ceramic tile, a product made by baking raw materials such as clay and water at high temperature, is resistant, long lasting, hygienic and non flammable, as well as being perfectly suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces. As has been amply demonstrated in many structures, it is the perfect material for projects that aim to deliver beauty with optimum safety and technical specifications.
Prestigious architectural practice OAB, headed by Carlos Ferrater, was on of the first to take ceramic into an urban environment, in pursuit of creating architecture that combines an aesthetic point of difference and an exceptional construction solution. The firm has worked with ceramic for many years and when they had to create a design for the kitchens and restaurant on one of Spain's leading chefs there was no doubt in their mind that ceramic was to be the material of choice. This conviction is also evident in Albert Adria's kitchens and restaurant, Enigma. Designed by consultants RCR, winners of the Pritzker prize for architecture, all the vertical and horizontal planes are clad with large format ceramic tiles featuring a watercolor of their own design.
Ceramic wins out again in sports architecture, where cleanliness and safety take precedence over any form of decor. A masterly example of this is the Campo Baeza multi sports facility at the Unversidad Francisco de Vitoria, where ceramic tiles not only cover the swimming pool but also the floor and the stands.
Equally, some behavioral trends that have emerged in recent years need to be perceived as enduring over time - those example that reflect an awareness of our surroundings and of the environment. In this regard, the versatility of ceramic makes it a great ally of sustainable architecture - both because it is the ideal finish for renovation projects and ventilated facades; thin tiles that are manufactured keeping in mind social responsibility for the environment. These features along with large formats produce energy savings in terms of materials in the construction process.
Ceramic slats, three dimensional terracotta pieces that control how much sunlight enters a building and floor tiles that collect rain water in order to channel it so that it can be reused, are just two examples of how ceramic's versatility in terms of usage, shape as a finish and reinterpretation by new creatives, can embody how projects can adapt to current environmental standards.
it is up to us to ensure our Planet remains in good condition even though it may change and that our homes, short lived as they may be, are an example of permanent personal satisfaction.
Credit: Ceraspana 2019