Specifying modern fires and stoves - a multitude of design options

In specifying fires and fireplaces, the aspirations of architects and designers have often been limited by what type of property they are working on. From early Victorian times, homes were built with a standard-sized brick chimney that only offered limited options in terms of fireplace design and construction.

For many years, the only variation to the conventional fireplace was to create an ‘inglenook’ chimney. This was achieved by hollowing out the existing opening and creating a larger aperture in which to install a freestanding stove or fire basket, as opposed to a built-in fire.

The advent of new forms of combustion and fire or stove fabrication has opened up a much larger range of possibilities for the architect or designer. DRU has been involved in many of these technical innovations and is therefore at the forefront of modern fireplace design.

DRU fires and fireplaces have been designed with the architect or interior designer in mind. The philosophy of DRU and its associated brands, Dik Geurts, Spartherm and Ebios-Fire is to appeal to the most imaginative designers and enable them to break through the boundaries of what is possible from today’s fire or stoves.

Gas fires are no longer constrained by the proportions of the standard UK chimney. Thanks to the balanced flue system, hole-in-the-wall gas fires can now be produced in sizes up to 2 metres wide, such as the DRU Metro 200XT. In addition, there are 2-sided corner fires like the DRU Maestro 105/2 and 3-sided panoramic fires like the DRU Global 100 Triple.

See-through tunnel fires

For architects and designers wishing to free up much larger living spaces within properties, whilst still retaining the focal point of a gas fire or wood burner, DRU produces see-through tunnel fires.

These impressive fires, such as the gas-fired Largo Tunnel or wood-fired Instyle Tunnel, can be installed into room-dividing walls or other architectural features, where their flame pictures can be viewed from both sides, bringing two or more rooms to life with a comforting glow.

Suspended fires

Suspended fires are another option for architects, designers and builders. They are a low-cost preference as they require no special building work for installation. The flue can be inserted into an outside facing wall or through the roof and they take up no space on the floor but still make eye-catching objects. Good examples are the DRU Diablo Next or the Dik Geurts Bora.

For many consumers, the wood or gas stove is the first appliance of choice for heating a contemporary or period home. Traditionally, stoves have been made of cast iron and followed somewhat archaic design principles.

This has all changed with the advent of steel-fabricated wood stoves. These can be made in a plethora of sizes and designs to suit chimney or freestanding installation. Good examples of these are the Dik Geurts Ivar or Folke stoves.

The introduction of the Spartherm brand into the UK has heralded some very adventurous collections of modern, freestanding wood stoves that are defined by unusual sizes, shapes, viewing windows and colour finishes. Models such as the Cubo and Passo are typical of the new generation of contemporary freestanding wood stoves.

DRU also produces freestanding gas that replicated the style and romance of wood stoves, but with the convenience of gas. Models such as the Circo and Trio are classic examples of beautiful contemporary gas stoves that require no chimney and are easy to install and maintain.

Chimney and non-chimney compatibility for gas fires

One of the first considerations for an architect or home owner when choosing a gas fire is ‘where can I install it?’

In most UK homes, the existing chimney is an obvious place. It sits prominently in the centre of the living room; it has an aperture that will accept most standard gas fires; it is a ready-made source of air for combustion and it is of a solid brick construction, making it reliably heat-resistant.

Most gas fire manufacturers produce models that are compatible with UK chimneys. These are known as CF (conventional flue) gas fires and include models such as the DRU Global 40 and Global 55XT

They are suitable for the standard 22” (55 cm) chimney opening and use a combination of air from inside the room and draught from the chimney for combustion. The natural motion of rising hot air allows waste gases to be expelled up the chimney and into the atmosphere.

When recommending a CF gas fire, it is important to ensure that the chimney is clean and it has a chimney liner installed if specified by the gas fire manufacturer.

Designing a room around a CF gas fire does not necessarily mean that you are restricted in the size or look of the fire. DRU, for instance, produces models such as the Global 70XT, which is larger than the standard 22” chimney opening, but can be installed by creating a larger aperture in the chimneybreast.

In addition, it is possible to completely hollow out the aperture to create an ‘inglenook’ chimney. This allows for the installation of a basket fire or freestanding gas stove such as the DRU Global Beau.

Balanced flue

But what if there is no chimney? Many homes built since the 1960s have no chimney and that trend continues with most current new-build homes.

Furthermore, many architects and builders would like to install gas fires into high-rise apartments, loft conversions, barn conversions and other unconventional property types.

The answer is the balanced flue system, which was developed by DRU in the 1930s and is the system used on most of their gas fires.

The gas fire or stove is attached to a concentric flue, which is inserted through an outside wall or through the roof and normally concealed behind a false chimneybreast. Air is drawn from outside the building for combustion, with waste gases expelled outside.

The balanced flue system provides for an almost unlimited range of gas fire designs. Built-in fires can be up to 2 metres wide and have 2-sided, 3-sided and see-through tunnel options. A good example of this is the DRU Metro range, with many variations, in shape, size, fire bed and interior design.

DRU contemporary fires are on live display in fireplace showrooms all around the UK. By completing our contact form, you will be put in touch with your nearest DRU approved dealer.

Alternatively, if you require help in specifying fires for a new development, you can contact our technical support team on 0161 793 8700 or email us today.
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