An important current in contemporary architecture and interior design focuses on authenticity and natural inspiration. This is a specific policy in contemporary Japanese design, which combines nature with architecture, even incorporating it (as in the home in Ogawa, and in Sengokubara home in Hakone) or eliminating all planes and barriers between the landscape and the building (as in the homes in Fukuyama and Onomichi).
Increasingly present in residential, public and commercial buildings, this design philosophy includes elements directly linked with nature (such as rocks, trees, water and green corners in big stone containers) or refers to them in shapes and colours, furnishings, floors and wall coverings.
When possible, the link with nature often takes the form of visual and perceptive continuity between indoors and outdoors, for instance between the living room and kitchen and the green space outside.
Surfaces can be a very important element referring to nature when wood-effect porcelain tiles are used, as in the French Woods collection by Iris Ceramica. The reference to natural wood, made so authentic by the aesthetic potential of high-tech porcelain stoneware, underlines the material qualities of spaces "thanks to knots and veins standing out on a surface given a lived-in look by time and the elements".
Available in 6 colours, Beech, Cork, Ebony, Elm, Larch and Olive, with natural and anti-slip finishes, these porcelain strips (120x20 cm) perfectly suit the mood of natural inspiration.
This is particularly true of all projects which directly link indoor and outdoor pavements, often using big panes of glass and openings to let in as much daylight as possible, underlining details of workmanship and colours. French Woods maintains its aesthetic and functional properties unaltered in both residential and commercial buildings, as demonstrated by the coverings in the Hotel Milan il Duca, in Piazza della Repubblica, Milan.
Redesigned and expanded by Aldo Rossi in 1988, the hotel’s architectural structure was then renewed completely in 2015 by Arassociati to obtain a splendid view over the Milan skyline.
A new roof garden with a skybar provides the perfect setting for breakfast.
The floor inside the skybar is covered with Iris Ceramica’sFrench Wood Ebony porcelain tiles laid in the traditional way, while the outdoor pavement on the terrace is covered with Ebony tiles laid dry on feet; the patios of a number of suites in the hotel also have floors from the French Wood collection, in the colour Olive.