Modular is à la mode
Why hang art on the wall when the wall itself can be the art? modularArts InterlockingRockÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s easy to install blocks and tiles are transforming unremarkable interior surfaces into elegant sculptural pieces that inject drama and sophistication into everyday homes.
Words by Natalia Taylor.
A series of innovative decorative products, the modular textured tiles and quirkily shaped blocks are engineered to fit together seamlessly, creating a continuous patterned surface that will elevate any space into the realm of the extraordinary.
Something of a modern twist on bas reliefs of old, three dimensional patterns and forms in these unique tiles catch and refract the light from different angles, making the designs appear to almost pulsate with life. What at first seems to be the ultimate trompe l’oeil, is in fact a three dimensional reality.
ModularArts InterlockingBlocks, first made its mark in the design world with the large scale modular panels bearing similarly graceful, textured forms, that are used in commercial settings – from airports to nightclubs – around the world. The residential tiles, developed in response to requests from homeowners for a similar concept appropriate for more intimate dwelling spaces, are scaled-down versions that can be easily shipped, cut and mounted and create a focal point in any room, be it a backsplash or a feature wall.
Created in Seattle, Washington, a city at the juncture between sea and mountains, the designs are as much inspired by nature as they are by the urban surroundings: patterns include avant garde, geometric forms as well as gently undulating ripples – reminiscent of the sandy shapes on the ocean floor, concentric circles that bring to mind raindrops falling on still waters and graceful floral motifs.
The interlocking blocks – from which shapes and forms have been carved to allow varying degrees of light to pass through – are stacked together with concealed studs, creating fully dimensional walls. Ideal for contemporary homes in tropical climates, these sculptural walls are not dissimilar to the screens, partitions and partial walls employed in colonial Caribbean architecture to allow indirect sunlight and air to flow through the home.
“This is the real magic of the surface – how it rings with past and present culture, and how it recalls the beauty and grace in nature,” says founder Donald Kaump, one time musician turned furniture maker and artist.
Not only do these interlocking sculptural surfaces push the boundaries of design possibilities, through constant innovation and experimentation with 3D modelling and machining, they also tick the green box: the tiles and blocks are manufactured with gypsum and lightweight volcanic aggregates, which are durable, non-combustible and do not give off any toxic gases.
“We pursue natural, healthy and safe materials that generate minimal impact on the planet in general, as well as the inhabitants of the buildings they go into, and our employees,” says Kaump.
Taking interiors from dull to dynamic, these versatile tiles and blocks are transforming blasé abodes with their daring designs one surface at a time, and leaving homeowners happy to be up against the wall.
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