Design of a Fireplace. Attempt at Classification. The comment for log "Most-most in Novosibirsk", November 2011  
Andrey Buslaev
Evolution of the fireplace as part of the home has passed the following stages: fire bed – stove – canonic English fireplace – technological furnace – interior sculpture. If we look at the role of a fireplace in the modern interior from the architect-designer’s viewpoint we will see several different focuses of attention.
Living Fire, Flame. Expressing the functions of living fire in such directions as functionalism, minimalism, hi-tech, and eco-tech. Maximum technological effectiveness and controllability, perfection of design. Main attention is paid to options. The fireplace is a kind of background for tongues of flame being self-sufficient. This category can include niche-like, slot-like fireplaces etc.
Traditional Fireplace, Status Element. Decorative, canonic design is typical of ‘semi-antique’ stylization used for decorating the area in various traditional styles – gothic, classicism and various eclectic variants. Fireplace shelves, grates, accessories and general design are crucial here.
Designer Playing with Fire (no quotation marks!). Interpreting the theme of fire and experimenting with images of fire, so to say, ‘fire concept’, are important for intellectual genres of design respectively. Various replacements of the fireplace with TV screens showing fire, electric fireplaces. I would also add bio-fireplaces to this category (may their developers forgive me!).
Avant-Garde Sculpture. Using fire as an attribute and attracting people's attention to the shape, structure and image of the fireplace design are the features of ‘edgy’ styles – post-modernism, deconstructivism and new, fashionable non-linear trends of architecture and design. Unexpectedness and shock value of interpretations are among the most important characteristics in these ‘games of the mind’