Re-Inventing The Fireplace: Inspirations From Iceland By Secret North

If you didn't know better, you might say that Secret North designs fireplaces, but what it designs are places for fire.  Its aim is to integrate fire into interior design - much like water has been integrated with water walls and bubbling indoor ponds - not for its heat, but for its beauty. Because Secret North uses bio-ethanol to burn, its fires don't spark, they are clean burning (smokeless!), easy to operate, and very low maintenance. 

Secret North is based in Reykjavik, Iceland, one of the coldest inhabitable places on the planet.  Iceland is an island as fiery as it is icy, a land of active volcanoes and glaciers and many other spectacular natural earthly formations.  And Secret North makes no secret of the inspirations for its designs, mixing fire with rocks, stones, and lava, fire with wood and leather, and fire with ice (stainless steel and glass).

Secret North delights in its natural surroundings, memorializing them in photos that provide inspiration for its designs. Here, a waterfall becomes the inspiration for Secret North's Fire Feature Wall.


Icelandic waterfall: ©Secret NorthIcelandic waterfall: ©Secret North


Fire Feature Wall: ©Secret NorthFire Feature Wall: ©Secret North


Another fire wall design, made with stainless steel fire boxes against fretted glass...  This one appears to have been made for a commercial client, but the walls can be designed for a home interior with custom fretting.   The fire wall creates makes a wonderful lighting design!


Fire Wall with fretted glass: ©Secret NorthFire Wall with fretted glass: ©Secret North


Scenes of molten lava are the inspiration for several Secret North designs...


Lava is abundant in Iceland.: ©Secret NorthLava is abundant in Iceland.: ©Secret North


Coffee table with lava base fire place.: ©Secret NorthCoffee table with lava base fire place.: ©Secret North


Hanging lava fire feature: ©Secret NorthHanging lava fire feature: ©Secret North


Even leather and other fabrics, though soft, reflect the rough scaly surface of lava.


Bench with seats made from wolffish skin: ©Secret NorthBench with seats made from wolffish skin: ©Secret North


Sofa made of skins with fire table.: ©Secret NorthSofa made of skins with fire table.: ©Secret North


Now, here's a real sexy beast.  The fire feature "coach" is made from black fiberboard, stainless steel and gold chrome steel.  The seat is made from yellow zebra skin.


Bench and fire table: ©Secret NorthBench and fire table: ©Secret North


Secret North torches are true fire pedestals that unabashedly lift the fire up to the tops.  I love this design which makes me think of villagers that raise the torches at night for the community's fire worshippers   The torch is made of glass and stainnles steel crome - fire and ice.


Torch of glass and stainless steel chrome: ©Secret NorthTorch of glass and stainless steel chrome: ©Secret North


There are songs about fire and ice, fire and ice festivals, books and movies called 'fire and ice.'  Robert Frost even wrote a short poem about fire and ice.  It goes...

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.


To see more of Secrets North's fire (and ice) designs, visit its website. Much of the studio's work is custom made, so you have the opportunity to design your own place for fire.


Secret North via Core 77