The legendary Prussian King Friedrich the Great’s summer palace in Potsdam Sanssouci combines the ostentation of German Rococo and the rational principles of the Age of Enlightenment. It is a calculation that creates beauty.
In the course of its development, Modernity disrobes, gradually renouncing a growing number of previously celebrated architectonic solutions and ornaments as superfluous and tasteless, until all that remained was a game of two elements – surface and reflection. It is here that the ornament of parquet becomes the rhythm of material.
In the greatest masterpieces of modernity, the contemporary is married to the eternal. Thus, in creating the German Pavilion for the 1929 World Fair in Barcelona, one of the world’s first ‘starchitects’, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, embraces the entire history of Europe without a single historical reference. The freedom of Platonic ideas is manifested through the ultramodern organisation of space; in the interaction of contemporary glass, chrome and steel with the travertine beloved by the Ancient Romans, green Alpine marble and golden onyx from the Atlas Mountains. And there, reflected in the water, and encompassed by broadest surfaces of glass and marble, is Georg Kolbe’s sculpture Morning – modernity’s dedication to antique beauty.
In terms of architecture, the Barcelona Pavilion manifests the new practicality of visual art – a new level of realism that without copying manages to reference both the excesses of the avant-garde, along with the spiritual simplicity of medieval painting.
Classical Chevron pattern with a perpendicular borders frame. It is augmented with a vibrant accent in the form of the peacock tail Art Nouveau ornament along the border.
Similarly in interiors, decorative Art Nouveau jungles are followed by ascetic Art Deco surfaces. This is a new prosperity, whose splendour is manifested through its ostensible simplicity, which reveals itself to the connoisseur as conceptual and ideal luxury.
In contemporary interiors, the symbol of rational perfection is the furniture of Philippe Starck. The iconic Starck chair is the throne for contemporary rulers of taste.
Spacious wooden terrace in a classical style detached house. Used for breakfasting on sunny mornings, carefree dinners with friends on warm summer evenings, joyous celebrations and romantic interludes.
Tower room in the bay section of a wooden house. The floor covering is formed by a Chevron pattern developed in a geometric progression towards the centre of the room, creating a romantic spider web effect.
The most widely used type of wooden floor covering is a layer of boards – a strictly arranged, simple floor arrangement in which the main accent is on the beauty of the tones and fibre of the wood. It is followed by the Chevron pattern and many different square variations: the chessboard, braids, star ornaments, etc. while the circle is retained as a basic form.
According to Susan Sontag,
“There is taste in people, visual taste, taste in emotion - and taste in acts, taste in morality. Intelligence is really a kind of taste – a taste in ideas.”