Ceramic floor tiles enhance Parisian library
Coffee bar, meeting place and bookshop all in one is what would best describe Librairie ICI in Paris, France, which was designed using ceramic floor tiles from Mosa’s Terra Maestricht collection. Nestled in the second arrondissement of the French capital, this non-conformist space is home to 40,000 books and provides an oasis of peace.
Architect, Arnaud Berthereau, from Studio Briand & Berthereau in Paris, explains how he managed to turn this project into reality. “The interior is an ensemble of raw materials,” he said. “The eye is immediately drawn to the ceramic tiles in neutral and contrasting colors, which harmoniously combine furniture in light wood and pastel shades and are accentuated by the white walls.”
ICI's founders called on the architectural firm to design the independent bookshop. The studio had previously worked successfully with Mosa and asked the Dutch company again for help with this large project, which had a 500-square-meter floor area. Together, they created an inviting, accessible meeting place with sleek and understated materials.
“The importance of strength and durability led us to choose Mosa tiles,” said Berthereau. “The tiles are perfectly suited to high-traffic areas and are completely resistant to damage from wheeled bookcases being moved around. Maintaining the bookshop's original look is a huge asset for this space, which has been designed as a place to meet and relax.”
Berthereau thought the tiles would be the best choice to create a welcoming space. “The Mosa tile strips combine durability and high quality with an aesthetic character,” the architect said. “Thanks to their unique size, we didn't have to think twice about selecting these tile strips because they enabled us to play around with color combinations.
“We wanted to do something out of the ordinary for this project and these tile strips provided the scope for this,” he went on to explain. “To liven up the floor, the strips are placed in a herringbone pattern. The tile pattern is reminiscent of a parquet floor, but we've also harnessed the rough character of the material to give the illusion of an irregular pattern and add depth to the space.”
The combination of colors and the use of a herringbone pattern on a floor of this size are not common design choices. The designers worked with three colors -- Concrete Grey, Terracotta Brown and White -- to play around with contrasts. This colorful composition creates an intriguing graphic effect on the floor. The different spaces within the bookshop are marked by three different colors. These colors come together at the meeting points and quieter places, while the floors along the bookcases are contrastively laid in a solid color, Concrete Grey.
“Terracotta is the dominant color on the floor,” said Berthereau. “This choice of color is no coincidence: it refers to the very recognizable covers of the books in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade collection.”
This color of tile was utilized 10- x 60-cm format, a unique product for this project. “We worked on this project for four months,” said Berthereau. “The tile manufacturer was able to deliver within this short period of time and meet our expectations by ensuring quick response times and taking into account our urgent requirements, the specific tile size and the enormous size of the order.”
Architect: Studio Briand & Berthereau, Paris, France
Tile Supplier: Archiproducts, Milan, Italy (Mosa’s Terra Maestricht collection)