tag archives: tile

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near carrara, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

to this:

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statuario marble | master bathroom | miami, FL | interior design by sand studios

photo credits ken hayden and ken hayden via luxesource

during our recent vacation, we planned to visit the sites of some of the marble quarries in the apuan alps, near carrara, italy, on the way from the airport in florence to the beach in forte dei marmi.  but, rain was forecast for the next day.  so, we decided to spend the sunny day at the beach, instead.

we drove through the town of carrara to the roman bridge near miseglia the next afternoon, after it stopped raining.

don’t the marble quarries look interesting?

i keep noticing geometric patterns that remind me of the blue and white ceramic tile that italian architect *gio ponti (1891-1979) designed for the parco dei prinicipi hotel in sorrento, italy.

hall | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

gio ponti | laurel pattern blue and white ceramic tile | 1962

photo credits royal group and dwell

bar | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

gio ponti | starburst pattern blue and white ceramic tile | 1962

photo credits royal group and dwell

 the parco dei principi hotel, which opened in 1962, is considered one of gio ponti’s masterpieces.  the hotel was restored from 1999-2004, and is now a listed building.  gio ponti designed not only the architecture, but also the interiors of the 96 room hotel.  so, the parco dei principi could be considered a mid-century modern precursor of 21st century design hotels.  for the interiors, which have a blue and white design scheme, ponti designed 30 patterns of 20 x 20 cm (7.87 x 7.87 in) ceramic tile.  the maiolica tile, which was originally manufactured by d’agostino in salerno, italy, has now been re-issued by la riggiola.

by rotating the tiles, ponti created four different patterns from this design

photo credits royal group and dwell

junior suite | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

gio ponti | pinwheel pattern blue and white ceramic tile | 1962

photo credits royal group and dwell

‘shortlist’ | world of interiors magazine | march 2015 | page 45

rockman & rockman | cube 6 side table

photo credits world of interiors

rockman & rockman | cube 1, cube 6, and cube 7 side tables

photo credits rockman & rockman

prada | fall/winter 2015 fashion show

photo credit the sartorialist

classic room | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

gio ponti | tetrahedron pattern blue and white ceramic tile | 1962

photo credits royal group and dwell

‘antennae roundup’ | world of interiors magazine | march 2015 | page 19

beija flor | tetrahedron pattern printed vinyl PVC floor covering

photo credits world of interiors

alexandra champalimaud for the rug company | gaelic yellow and gaelic brown rugs

inspired by carved stones found while traveling in india

photo credits the rug company and the rug company

pentreath & hall | tetrahedron pattern wrapping paper

based on stone floor and marble patterns by 18th century designer, batty langley

photo credits pentreath & hall

dining room | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

gio ponti | losenge pattern blue and white ceramic tile | 1962

photo credits j p moser and dwell

christian louboutin | sole print panettone wallets

photo credits christian louboutin

deluxe sea view room | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

gio ponti | circular pattern blue and white ceramic tile | 1962

photo credit royal group

‘all-star lineup’ | elle decor magazine | march 2015 | page 134

amethyst artisan | eclipse cement tile

photo credits elle decor and martyn thompson

 

amethyst artisan | eclipse cement tile

photo credits amethyst artisan

my husband, bob, and i stayed at the parco dei principi hotel when we visited the amalfi coast.  like the interiors and the architecture, the location is spectacular!  the hotel is built on a cliff, overlooking the bay of naples.

parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

rendering | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

photo credits royal group

 the beach, where we relaxed every evening before dinner, is located at the bottom of the cliff.

beach | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

photo credit royal group

‘blue sky,

blue sea,

blue islands,

blue maiolicas…’

-gio ponti

  *about giovanni (gio) ponti (1891-1979)

italian architect gio ponti could be considered one of the most influential 20th century designers.  his most famous building is probably the pirelli tower in milan, italy.

 gio ponti | pirelli tower | milan, italy | 1958

photo credit gioponti.com

gio ponti was also an industrial designer.  he designed porcelain for richard ginori, lighting for artemide, fontana arte, and venini, as well as furniture for domus nova.  the superleggera chair no. 699, produced by cassina since 1957, is probably his most famous furniture design.

gio ponti | superleggera chair no. 699 | parco dei principi hotel | sorrento, italy

photo credit dwell

ponti, who established domus architecture, art, and design magazine, was also a writer, an editor, and a publisher.

cover | domus magazine | january 1931

photo credit gio ponti archives

 you may be familiar with the famous mosaic tile floor of ten female athletes, nicknamed the ‘bikini girls’, from the villa romana del casale, a 4th century roman villa located near piazza armerina in central sicily.*

mosaic tile floor | room of girls in bikinis (sala ragazze in bikini) | room 30
villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit wtfarthistory.com

the villa romana del casale is the most impressive archaeological site that my husband, bob, and i have ever visited.

unesco describes the mosaics from the villa romana del casale as:

‘the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the roman world.’

the mosaics are exceptional not only for their quality, but also for their quantity.  a spectacular mosaic tile floor, called the ambulatory of the great hunt, covers the 200 foot (60 meter) long passageway that connects the reception, private, and utility areas of the villa romana del casale.  the mosaics depict the capture and transport of ferocious and exotic animals to rome for the hunts that preceded gladiator events.

mosaic tile floor | hall of the great hunt (corridoio della grande caccia) | room 28
villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credits unesco and lisa walsh | innerspace

the mosaics are so exceptional, and the villa romana del casale is so large, that some scholars speculate that it could have been an imperial commission.**  so far, 46 rooms, totaling 43000 square feet (4000 square meters), have been excavated.

the prevalent opinion among scholars and art historians is that the villa romana del casale was built during the 4th century, between 327 and 357.***  and, that both the building and the decoration, which also includes interior and exterior frescos, are from the late roman period.

yet, some art historians have noted stylistic differences between the mosaic tile floors.

mythological or allegorical scenes, like the poet arion surrounded by sea creatures in the chamber of arion (room 37), are more naturalistic than domestic or genre scenes, like the fishermen in the hall of cupids fishing (room 24).  could they have been designed by the same people?

 mosaic tile floor | chamber of arion (diaeta di arione) | room 37

villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

mosaic tile floor | atrium of cupids fishing (atrio delgi amorini pescatori) | room 24

villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

 photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

in addition, the mosaic tile floors in the triclinium (room 36) look different than the floors in the rest of the residence.  could they have been installed later?  maybe.

some scholars argue that the villa could have been constructed in phases:  1.  the rectangular peristyle (rooms 11-31, 35, 37-46)  2.  the bath complex (rooms 3-10)  3.  the entrance (rooms 1-2) and the oval peristyle (rooms 32-34, 36)****

floor plan | villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit lasiciliainrete.it

could that explain why the ‘bikini girls’ were installed over a geometric patterned mosaic tile floor?  the room of girls in bikinis (room 30) is located adjacent to the oval peristyle.  could the ‘bikini girls’ have been part of the final expansion?

geometric mosaic tile floor | under the room of girls in bikinis (sala ragazze in bikini) | room 30
villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

as an interior designer, i am less interested in the ‘bikini girls’ and more interested in the geometric patterns.  the geometric patterns are a textile designer’s dream!

cubicle of fruit (cubicolo della frutta) | room 45


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duralee|highland court | lalique rayon/silk fabric | 800249H-720


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martyn lawrence bullard | mamounia linen fabric | MLB2314

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photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace, duralee|highland court and martyn lawrence bullard
cubicle of cupid and psyche (cubicolo della scena erotica) | room 46

 

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did you notice the fresco remnants on the wall?

holland & sherry | ringlet linen/wool fabric | DE11843

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kelly wearstler|groundworks | ombre maze viscose/linen fabric | GWF-2806.416

medallions

 

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 photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace,holland & sherry and kelly wearstler|groundworks

the field patterns and borders in the utility rooms are as interesting as the mosaic tile floors in the master’s apartments.

utility room (sala mosaico a ottagoni) | room 26

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photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

utility room (sala mosaico a quadrati) | room 27

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photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

what textiles (or trim) could you design from the mosaic patterns?

footnotes

*sicily became the first roman province in 227 BCE, and remained part of the roman empire until 395 CE.

**some scholars think that the villa romana del casale was commissioned by emperor maximanus (r. 286-305) or his son, maxentius (r. 306-312), between 290 and 312.  villaromanadelcasale.it

***the gymnasium mosaics (room 15), which feature the circus maximus in rome, could indicate that the villa romana del casale was built between 327 and 357.  emperor augustus (r. 31 BCE-14 CE) installed an obelisk in the center of the circus maximus in 10 CE.  in 327, the obelisk was moved to the perimeter of the circus maximus to make room for a larger obelisk, which was installed by emperor constantius II (r. 337-361) in 357.  the villa romana del casale gymnasium mosaics only have one obelisk, which is located on the perimeter of the circus maximus.  so, some scholars believe that the villa romana del casale was built between 327 and 357 CE.  villaromanadelcasale.it

****the floor plan of the villa romana del casale is unusual because the orientation of the the rectangular peristyle (rooms 11-31, 35, 37-46) and the oval peristyle (rooms 32-34, 36) are not axial.  a coin, dating to 355-361, was found in the west wall of the foundation of the oval peristyle.  so, some scholars believe that that the oval peristyle was built later than the rectangular peristyle or the bath complex.  villaromanadelcasale.it

click here or here for more information about the villa romana del casale.