Title:
Modular mosaic architectural component
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular mosaic architectural component having at least two mosaic pieces, and at least one support surface covered with the at least two mosaic pieces. The at least one support surface is preferably recessed with respect to a rim of the surface such that external surfaces of the at least two mosaic pieces are essentially at a same level of the external surface of the rim.



Inventors:
Placuzzi, Maurizio Leo (Ravenna, IT)
Application Number:
11/181705
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
07/13/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F13/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060080937Wall support and plumb braceApril, 2006Jones
20030089073Utility pole erectionMay, 2003Enns
20090193730HURRICANE PANELAugust, 2009Pruet et al.
20090313941COMPOSITE PROFILE FOR WINDOW, DOOR OR FACADE ELEMENTDecember, 2009Siodla
20080083174Residential land development with clustered lotsApril, 2008Hersha
20080098666Sterilization Plant, Extension Module and Method of Increasing the Capacity for a Sterilization PlantMay, 2008Larsson
20040250481Human Sleeping ChamberDecember, 2004Frykman
20050055942Method for manufacturing and installing a prefabricated hardwood floorMarch, 2005Maelzer et al.
20050252103Textured window wellNovember, 2005Cook
20060201097Area contact truss strut jointSeptember, 2006Davis
20090241459Composite Siding SystemOctober, 2009Bryan



Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP/HAK NY (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular mosaic architectural component, comprising: at least two mosaic pieces; and at least one support surface covered with the at least two mosaic pieces.

2. The modular mosaic architectural component of claim 1, wherein the at least one support surface is recessed with respect to a rim of the support surface such that one surface of the at least two mosaic pieces is essentially at a same level of the external surface of the rim.

3. The modular mosaic architectural component of claim 1 comprising a body made of transparent or translucent material.

4. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 3, wherein the at least two mosaic pieces are made of transparent material.

5. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 4, wherein the transparent material used to make the mosaic pieces is glass.

6. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1, wherein the at least one surface is flat.

7. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 2, wherein the at least one surface is flat.

8. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1, wherein the at least one surface is curved.

9. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 2, wherein the at least one surface is curved.

10. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1, wherein the architectural modular component is shaped as a parallelepiped.

11. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 10, wherein the at least one surface covered with mosaic pieces corresponds to a lateral surface of the parallelepiped and in which the rim corresponds to a rim of the lateral surface.

12. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 11, further comprising a second surface covered with mosaic pieces which corresponds to an opposite lateral surface of the parallelepiped.

13. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1, further comprising a second surface covered by mosaic pieces arranged on opposite lateral sides of the architectural modular component.

14. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1, further comprising at least one coupling arrangement for coupling to a second modular architectural component.

15. An architectural element comprising a first modular mosaic architectural component and at least a second mosaic modular mosaic architectural component connected to amongst each other through at least one coupling arrangement.

16. The modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1, comprising a body which is hollow.

17. The architectural modular component according to claim 16, wherein the architectural modular component is configured to receive light fixtures.

18. An architectural modular component, comprising: a body of transparent material, the body of transparent material having at least two sides and at least one surface which is recessed to form a rim; and at least one coupling arrangement positioned on the body of transparent material

19. The architectural modular component according to claim 18, wherein the body of transparent material has at least two sides, a first side covered with the at least two mosaic pieces.

20. The architectural modular component according to claim 19, wherein the at least two mosaic pieces are made of glass.

21. The architectural modular component according to claim 19, wherein the at least two mosaic pieces are made of plastic.

22. A method of providing an architectural element comprising assembling modular mosaic architectural components into a desired architectural configuration.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the modular mosaic architectural components of claim 1 are assembled into the architectural element.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein the modular mosaic architectural components of claim 19 are assembled into the modular mosaic architectural components.

25. An architectural element comprising at least one modular mosaic architectural component according to claim 1.

26. The modular mosaic architectural component of claim 1 having at least one rounded surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to modular architectural components. More specifically, the present invention provides a modular architectural component that is completely or partially covered with mosaic pieces and can be used to create elements, such as space separators, furniture, or lighting elements, that are both decorative and functional in an architectural environment.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

There is a special need in the architectural industry to be able to provide architectural elements that allow versatile and rapid creation of walls, parts of walls or other furnishing components using mosaic pieces. There is also a need in the industry for such modular architectural components to be integrable amongst each other and within the environment in which they are placed so as to form a stable and strong decorative component.

There is a need, therefore, to provide a modular architectural component having structural and functional characteristics that meet these requirements.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides modular mosaic architectural components that may be easily integrated with each other and their environment to define a stable and strong decorative component. If desired the modular architectural components of the present invention may also be easily assembled and disassembled to provide different architectural elements. More particularly, the present invention provides an architectural modular component, comprising, at least two mosaic pieces, and at least one support surface covered with the at least two mosaic pieces. Preferably, the at least one support surface is recessed to form a rim such that the external surfaces of the at least two mosaic pieces are essentially at a same level of the external surface of the rim. The support surface may be made of any material, but is preferably made of an easily moldable, transparent and relatively light weight material such as plastic.

The at least two mosaic pieces may be made of any suitable material, but are preferably made of transparent material, such as glass. The surfaces of the architectural modular component may be of any suitable configuration, such as flat or curved or a combination of the two. The shape of the component may be any suitable shape, for example a parallelepiped.

The architectural modular component may have the at least one surface covered with mosaic pieces correspond to a lateral surface of a parallelepiped and in which the rim corresponds to a rim of the lateral surface. The architectural modular component may further comprise two surfaces covered with mosaic pieces which correspond to opposite lateral surfaces of a parallelepiped. The architectural modular component may be designed such that the two surfaces covered by mosaic pieces are arranged on opposite parts of the architectural modular component. More than two support surfaces may be covered with mosaic and those surfaces may be arranged in any manner that is suitable to form the desired architectural modular component.

The architectural modular component may be connected to other architectural modular components through at least one coupling arrangement.

The architectural modular component may be hollow and configured to receive light fixtures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Additional characteristics and advantages of the architectural modular component according to the invention will be seen in the following specification which includes exemplary embodiments, provided as non-exhaustive examples, with reference to the attached figures in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front perspective view of a modular architectural component according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in which some mosaic pieces have been omitted to the underlying support surface and rim;

FIG. 2 illustrates a front perspective view of the complete modular architectural components shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the modular architectural components shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 illustrates a top or bottom plan view of the modular architectural component shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of the modular architectural component shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 6 illustrates a front view of another exemplary embodiment of the modular architectural component according to the invention where the surface of the component is rounded;

FIG. 7 illustrates a cross-section along VII-VII of the modular architectural component shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 illustrates a front view of another exemplary embodiment of a rounded modular architectural component according to the invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a cross section along line IX-IX of the modular architectural component shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 illustrates a front view of another exemplary embodiment of an architectural modular component according to the invention where the surface of the component is semicircular;

FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of the semicircular modular architectural components shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 illustrates a cross section along line XII-XII of the semicircular modular architectural components shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of an architectural element in the form of a column created from three modular architectural components according to the invention;

FIG. 14 illustrates a perspective view of an architectural element in the form of a wall created from six modular architectural components according to the invention.

FIG. 15 illustrates a perspective view of the modular components of the present invention showing the coupling arrangement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the figures, reference numerals 10, 110, 210 and 310 refer to the modular architectural component 10, preferably created with transparent or translucent material.

Referring to FIG. 1, in accordance with the invention, the modular architectural component 10 comprises a body 11 with at least one support surface 12 covered with mosaic pieces 13. In this exemplary embodiment, the architectural modular component 10 is provided with two surfaces 12 covered with mosaic pieces 13 and these surfaces are on opposite sides of the architectural modular component 10. Preferably, as shown in FIG. 1, surface 12 is recessed compared to a rim 14 that delimits the surface 12 such that the external surface of the mosaic pieces 13 is essentially at the level of the external surface of the rim 14. FIG. 1 illustrates a surface 12 not completely covered by mosaic pieces 13 to show the rim 14 and the recessed position of the surface 12 with respect to the rim 14. The mosaic pieces 13 can be bonded to the surface 12 with materials generally known to those skilled in the art, such materials include silicone, epoxies or polyurethanes. Prior to being glued or cemented on the surface, the mosaic pieces can, preferably, also be bonded amongst each other using silicone to another adhesive material to form a flexible mosaic. In this case, the silicone is applied in the gaps between the mosaic to form seams or joints as illustrated in the figures. One way of doing this is disclosed in European Patent Application No. 05002755 filed on Feb. 2, 2005, and which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The bonding of the mosaic pieces 13 amongst each other or to the surface 12 can be performed such that light is transmitted through both the cement and the mosaic pieces 13. This can be accomplished by using a transparent adhesive material in the manner discussed above. Preferably, the mosaic pieces 13, as well as the support surface, are made of transparent or translucent material, for example, glass, plastic or other similar materials.

The support surface may have any useful configuration. For example, in accordance with the non-limiting exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5, the support surface 12 may be flat. Or, in accordance with the non-limiting exemplary embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 12, the surface covered with mosaic pieces 13 may be curved.

The modular architectural components can be made in any useful form and dimension. One advantageous form is that of a parallelepiped. For example, the modular architectural component 10 is a parallelepiped, as shown in exemplary FIGS. 1 to 5. Further, more than one side of the modular architectural component may be covered with mosaic pieces. In the illustrated parallelepiped exemplary embodiment, preferably two opposite supporting surfaces 12 are covered with mosaic pieces 13. With reference to FIGS. 1 to 5, in the case of an architectural modular component 10 having the form of a parallelepiped, the surface 12 covered with mosaic pieces 13 corresponds to a lateral surface of the parallelepiped and the rim 14 corresponds to the rim of the lateral surface. FIGS. 1 to 5 illustrate two surfaces 12 covered by mosaic pieces 13 corresponding opposite lateral surfaces of the parallelepiped.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate another advantageous form, a curved modular architectural component 110, in which the surface 112 on which the mosaic pieces 113 are attached is a curved surface. In this embodiment, two curved support surfaces 112 are preferably provided, and are on opposite parts of the architectural modular component 110. The curvature is obtained with respect to an axis running parallel to the long side of the architectural modular component 110. The remaining four surfaces of the architectural modular component 110 are flat. In this particular embodiment, the curvature extends along an approximate 90° arc, but any curvature useful to realize the architectural/decorative goal may be used.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate another embodiment of a curved modular architectural component according to the present invention 210 having different dimensions. The surface 212 on which the mosaic pieces 213 are attached is a curved surface. In this case as well, two curved support surfaces 212 are provided and are arranged on opposite parts of the modular architectural component. The curvature was obtained with respect to an axis running parallel to the short side of the architectural modular component 210. The remaining four surfaces of the architectural modular component 210 are flat. In this case as well, the curvature extends along an approximate 900 arc.

FIGS. 10 to 12 illustrate another curved modular architectural component 310, in which the surface on which the mosaic pieces 313 are attached is a curved surface. In this case as well, two curved surfaces 312 are preferably provided, and are arranged on opposite parts of the modular architectural component. The curvature was obtained with respect to an axis parallel to the short side of the architectural modular component 310. The other surfaces of the architectural modular component 310 are flat. In this case the curvature is semicircular and extends along an approximately 180° arc.

In accordance with another possible embodiment of the present invention, the modular architectural components may be provided with a coupling or hooking arrangement to facilitate coupling with other modular architectural components. The coupling arrangement can be provided on the tops, sides and bottoms of the individual components such that the individual components lock together forming a joined mass. The coupling arrangements that may be used are known to those of skill in the art. They may be tongue and groove, post and hole or clip as non-limiting examples. The coupling arrangements can be formed on the exterior surface of the architectural modular component 10 to allow for the joining of the individual components together. An advantageous coupling arrangement is shown in FIG. 15. In an advantageous embodiment, the architectural modular components according to the invention may be internally hollow and adapted to receive light fixtures.

The modular architectural components according to the invention can be used to create architectural structures such as walls, parts of walls, columns, furnishing or lighting elements. FIGS. 13 and 14 illustrate two possible architectural elements that can be created using the modular architectural components of the present invention. The embodiment in FIG. 13 illustrates a column created from three modular architectural components, while FIG. 14 illustrates a wall created from six architectural modular components.

While the rim is not necessary, as illustrated, the rim and the recessed surface makes it possible to obtain an architectural component in which the mosaic pieces are slotted and attached with precision and in stable fashion. This avoids an increase in the bulkiness of the modular components and that the mosaic pieces protrude laterally from the modular component. Furthermore, the rim defines a transparent frame that surrounds the mosaic pieces and which, if the modular component is being used as a lighting element, allows for an increase in the luminosity level on the side of the mosaic.

Variations and\or additions can be provided to the embodiments described and illustrated above.

As already noted, the architectural model components can be manufactured in any form and dimension in any ratio between the components. Other configurations may include, for example, pyramid shapes, strips, ovals, spheres, pentagons, hexagons and other complex shapes.

According to additional embodiments, more than two walls can be covered with mosaic pieces. In the case of curved architectural modular components, the mosaic pieces can be placed either on the curved surfaces or on the flat surfaces, or only on the flat surfaces.

The pieces can be made of any material, preferably a transparent material, as, for example, glass. The circular rim can take any shape, size and extension. For example, it can have a rounded shape. The mosaic pieces also can be made in any shape, color and size, in addition to those illustrated as examples. In the case of using columns or walls, the quantity, shape and dimensions of the architectural modular components can vary from those illustrated.

Many additional modifications, adaptations and substitutions of components with other functional equivalent ones in the architectural modular component as described above, will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and can be made in order to satisfy contingent and specific architectural and design needs, without however leaving the scope of the following claims.