Hanging fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. At first, they were not taken seriously, but time passed, and interest in such unusual structures became more and more, and today it is already a full-fledged piece of furniture, recognized as very original and stylish.
A small excursion into history
The very first hanging fireplaces originated in the south of France in the last century in the 60s. They were created in a small workshop in the provincial center of Viol-le-Forte, which was opened by Dominique Imbert, who received a higher education, a lover of travel and philosophy.
That room can hardly be called a workshop, there were no conditions there: the roof was leaking, there were no windows at all, and the snow lay right on the floor in winter.
Dominic was simply freezing in this room, and this prevented him from his creative experiments. So he was forced to invent something that could warm him. Such a device turned out to be a homemade hanging fireplace, which the man attached to the wall.
This design was called Antefocus, and a year later, in 1968, a new fireplace appeared, called Gyrofocus, but its appearance, which has survived to this day, remains the same. The hanging fireplace is made by hand using polished steel with a black matte finish and visible welds.
Gyrofocus, the first in a line of pendant fireplaces that can rotate 360 degrees, has won many exhibitions and has been shown in three respected museums. And this is due not only to the technical perfection of the design, the design of Gyrofocus is delight and surprise - a fiery look through a steel squint.
The guests who visited the master's workshop did not cease to be amazed at this miracle of technology, and were not averse to the appearance of such a round fireplace in their homes. But the conservatives for a long time stood their ground and were in no hurry to accept Imber's innovations, so at first the fate of his new invention rested only on individual customers - these were people of art, architects by profession and representatives of Bohemian society.
What made a round pendant fireplace so different, and what is the difference between an imported chimney hood and a smoke collector from Russia?
Nowadays there is no longer any controversy over "floating" fireplaces, the shock has subsided, Russia is accustomed to such an unusual part of the home interior. Suspended structures appeared on the Russian market closer to the end of the 90s and confidently began to gain their place in the market.
About a special philosophy
Hanging fireplaces are the most striking expression of deconstructivism for modern apartment decoration. With them, the very idea of comfort and family hearth looks different. Basically, because such fireplaces are attached to the ceiling, although there are similar structures and are attached to the wall.
The classic preference for massiveness and brutality is no longer as relevant today as before, they were replaced by lightness, irony and free flight of design thought. Products of this shape look as if they speak of their independence and that they are apart in this world.
About aesthetics and practicality
It would seem that hanging fireplaces are a challenge to functional and rational theories, but in fact they turn out to be very practical and have a very aesthetic appearance. Such a "floating" structure can be found in any part of the room with suitable load-bearing characteristics.These designer hearths do not weigh so much, and therefore are perfect where a special load on the roof and floors is not recommended.
The practicality of hanging fireplaces also lies in saving space, but the smoke collector at such a hearth can be quite high. Two-tone models have a very beautiful look. They act as vertical dominance, visually making the room even higher. With such a hearth in any room, the atmosphere becomes somehow inexplicably special.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, these are metal products, which determines the moderation of their weight. In terms of operational capabilities, suspended structures show excellent results, and this, of course, is due to the high fire resistance characteristics of both stainless steel and cast iron.
External finishing is inappropriate here, because it is unnecessary weighting of the entire structure to anyone. Variety in style is achieved by the selection of colors of different shades, the method of chrome plating and the gloss or dullness of the surface.
As a rule, a hanging fireplace is a modular design and is assembled quite simply. It does not require much effort, as well as time-consuming and installation. In appearance, these are ultra-modern models that can perfectly fit into such an interior as high-tech and the like.
The choice of designers
The designers chose metal for a reason, because it is a fairly plastic material, due to which the shape of hanging fireplaces is sometimes simply fantastic. Here there is room for bold design ideas to unfold, and as a result, not only angles and lines of strict geometric rules are born, but also models resembling metal sculptures.
And the design idea does not stand still, and more and more bizarre forms such as exotic plants, alien ships, marine periscopes or intricately shaped crystals appear.
There is no limit to imagination and creativity, and in collaboration with modern technologies for processing metal products, the models are very accurate in terms of calculations.
The most common pendant models
As it has already become clear, hi-tech is what in style is most consistent with the design of hanging fireplaces. This is an unusual style, and a bold design, and strict forms, and restraint in the choice of colors. The most common models of suspended structures can be safely ranked as follows:
- FireObr with a fireplace for wood, with a chimney, in a universal design and in three possible colors. The shape of the hearth in this case is an inverted top and a panoramic glass door. Without decor, everything is extremely laconic, but stylish enough.
- Antrax is considered a rather unusual model, with considerable dimensions, but due to the openness of the firebox on three sides, there is no feeling of congestion. Here it is also possible to fire wood, and biofuel with a bewitching and attention-grabbing fire. This design looks great in the middle of the room, surrounded by upholstered furniture in the form of sofas and armchairs;
- Bubble is a round pendant design, suitable both in the middle of a room and near a wall. Firebox option - wood-burning open.
- Arion is a pendant type fireplace that is installed in the corner of the room. Such a structure is attached - to the wall, the firebox is trapezoidal, heat-resistant glass.
Choice of type of construction
A suspended fireplace will take root in any multi-storey building, in any cottage, because the weight of the firebox is much lighter than the weight of the firebox of a conventional fireplace model. The metal insert of a hanging fireplace is never finished with either stone or ceramics, and the maximum weight of the entire structure never exceeds 50 kg. Installation of the structure does not require the arrangement of a special foundation or wall insulation.
There are no problems with assembling such a suspended structure on your own, even in the conditions of your apartment, you only need equipment and drawings.
Determining the type of fuel
Suspended fuel can be as follows:
- solid fuel fireplace (usually wood);
- electric fireplace (in this case, heating coils are arranged inside the firebox);
- a hotbed that consumes biofuel. The difference between this version of the hearth is that a chimney is not needed for it, that is, this is the optimal model of a hanging fireplace for any apartment.
If the model is designed for wood, then the firebox can be both open and closed - with a protective glass-ceramic door. In recent years, there has been a trend towards an increase in the area of a transparent window in which fuel is placed, and towards panoramic glazing.
In a spacious room, an open fireplace is preferable. This is possible when the room is frequently and thoroughly ventilated. If we are talking about a house with double-glazed windows, then a forced ventilation system is needed. The firebox must also be forcibly supplied with fresh air, because in the open version the volume of consumed oxygen will be much greater than when the fire burns in a closed type firebox.
There are also wall-mounted pendant-type fireplaces, they are located against the wall, there are floating ones, that is, they are fixed only on the ceiling without any emphasis on the floor. In this case, the overlap should be sufficiently reliable, because although the entire structure will not exceed 150 kg, but for the ceiling it is still a considerable load.
Can you do it yourself?
At first glance, it may seem that a hanging fireplace is a very complex and incomprehensible system, but this is only at first glance. The design may well be created independently with the necessary materials, tools and some knowledge.
In this case, metal has much more advantages than brick. And not every apartment is suitable for installing a classic-type fireplace with a serious foundation. The advantages of metal are cost, higher efficiency, low weight and reliable strength.
Its disadvantages include a limitation in terms of service life, increased fire hazard and weak heat transfer. Metal is much easier to process and its strength can be compared to that of a ceramic product.
If you have the necessary equipment, then just looking at the photo of the model you like, it is quite possible to make a hanging fireplace yourself. Indeed, in fact, this is a simple stove-stove, which was attached to the chimney through the ceiling.
How to choose material
The most popular in this case is stainless steel. It will withstand exposure to 60C for two hours. The fireplace is recommended to be made of sheet steel with a thickness of at least 4 mm. But this design cannot be used constantly, it is for short-term heating, and intensive operation will lead to a rapid burnout of the hearth.
Industrial capacity advantages
The industry produces a fireplace, suspended on a pipe, from a material such as heat-resistant steel. Modern technologies have made it possible to use even steel with a thickness of 1.5 mm, and it does not lose its working condition for 20 years or longer. Light weight, decent heat capacity and thermal conductivity are all components of high efficiency rates.
But only a specialist with the appropriate equipment and modern welding technology can make a suspended structure from such steel. Handicraft production will not work in this case. Handcrafted stainless steel with heat-resistant properties will lose its qualities, and the cracked product will become unusable.
Cast iron can be used instead of steel. Its advantage is its relatively low cost. The fireplace can be assembled from 6 mm thick sheet. If the thickness is less, the product will also simply crack. This is not a very thermally conductive material, although its thermal conductivity will be sufficient for a small room.
First of all, before the very manufacture and installation, you need to purchase all the necessary components. You will need a metal sheet with a thickness of 4-5 mm. Both the firebox itself and the chimney hood will be made from it. The simplest and most reliable solution would be to purchase the products in question ready-made. It is unlikely that you will succeed in achieving the desired aesthetics on your own, but if it is only a matter of practicality, then it is worth taking a chance and trying.
A drawing in this case is a useful thing, but you will have to develop it yourself using a photograph, and this is a troublesome business, and therefore for such a simple design it is better to do without it at all.
With the help of welding, the metal sheet turns into a firebox, then it is welded to the pipe, and the pipe is attached to the chimney.
In modern designs, there is special electronics for the forced supply of air masses to the hearth, as well as a method for the forced removal of waste substances.
Also, the pipe will need special restrictions for hot air masses. This will save you from the trouble faced by the owners of suspended structures. If the streams of hot air masses come from above, then the design of the chimney was wrong.
On the features of operation
Whichever model of fireplace you use, first of all, you should be very serious about observing fire safety rules. This is especially true for models with an open hearth. It is necessary to ensure that there are no objects near the firebox that easily ignite.
Basically, hanging hearths are installed as a very original and unusual decoration of the room, because in this case we are not talking about reliable full-fledged heating. There is certainly warmth from such a hearth, but there is very little of it.
For this reason, such a design is distinguished by the fact that it will become indispensable on a winter evening, when it is so pleasant to sit by an open fire, sipping aromatic tea.
An even greater effect from such an exotic design of the fireplace can be achieved if the firebox is made rotating - it is clear that this will require some additions in the entire equipment of the hanging fireplace.
There are also interesting models with a lifting glass and a rotating chimney.
The peculiarity of hanging fireplaces in their technological and modern solution is the ability to rotate. Thus, the space of the room looks very dynamic, the hearth turns in any direction, changing and visually renewing the entire interior.
Today it is already difficult to say whether a round pendant fireplace is better or not and how it differs from the smoke collector in its chimney hood, but still their main feature is that they can rotate, turning in any direction and change the appearance of the entire interior.