The good son always returns home. It has been underused in past years but, after ages introducing the most modern materials and experimenting new ideas enjoying technology development, architecture is re-adapting the value of one of the most iconic materials ever made.
Tile has history. And now has present too.
Hardly we find finest example of wisdom to face the needs of a climate sometimes hostile and, at the same time, to obtain plastic results which can never be oblivious to all the art sense only architecture means.
A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, or even glass, generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, showers, or other objects such as tabletops. The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn, from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of fired clay.
Tiles are most often made of ceramic, typically glazed for internal uses, result of baking a coating generally called as enamel, that becomes waterproof and bright. This side can be monochrome or polychrome, smooth or embossed. It’s unglazed for roofing. Thinner tiles can be used on walls than on floors, which require more durable surfaces that will resist impacts.
With a strong, descriptive and monumental scenographic sense, the tile is transcended into something more than just a decorative element of little intrinsic value. This conventional material is used for its low cost but it reflects, beyond the light, the chromatic repertoire of all the cultural imaginary, physical or natural, its preference for the realistic description.
Different approach techniques of the tile conception differs in how the ink is applied, the type of ink, the type of relief work and the type of baking. Then comes the imagination. Essentially tile works as a dialogue between folks, between materials, textures, colors, evolution. It really can be gently nostalgic; is not only a covering material anymore so it doesn’t always have to have a function. You can range from simple square tiles to complex mosaics; many patterns could be made out of the half hex creating truly unique design.
Highlighting an architectural feature is one of the tips that make the best use of the material, taking it far beyond utility. When you use tile to cover the entire geometry of a feature, it really integrates it into the architecture. It works on a fireplace or a section of the home’s exterior.
In Gio Ponti’s Parco dei Principi Hotel in Italy, he used tile like rugs to break up the floor. It’s a great way to divide a larger space.
Also, it’s possible to employ variations on a shade to create a solid. For instance, sometimes, from far away, it blends to look like just a blue wall, but as you go closer to it, it becomes more and more interesting. There are also glossy and matte tiles mixed in which creates added (dynamic) dimension.
Must say, for the last note, many of the latest awarded architecture projects have been praising and glamorizing ceramic tile.