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Building materials: façades, ceilings, finishings


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In this last topic about building materials, I am going to show you some examples of wall, façades and ceiling finishing.

As usually I try to reproduce as close as possible the final effect of real ones in order my miniature buildings and structures have a realistic atmosphere.

In this first collage you can find head jambs, flat arches, door posts, stone wainscot and pilasters.

they imitate different finishing such as mortar, stucco or stone, in many cases made of artificial stone  which is polished as real ones



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Here you can see different designs of sgraffito. As you may know the surface is coated with two or three layers of coloured lime mortar. With a jig, you draw the decorative motif and then you eliminate the outer layer following this design till arrive to the next colour, the result is a decorative motif in relief in two (sometime three) colours that cover the façade.

It is so difficult in miniature that I only dare reproduce geometric designs,  that in many cases exists in Barcelona buildings.

They are made of artificial mortar, because its texture and colour must be the same in all the surface as well as in its thickness. Thickness is the major problem, and although is a bit out of scale the final effect is quite close to the real examples




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In this collage you can find different solutions for the top of buildings, cornices and eaves.

In most of these cases, the solution is of my imagination, according to the aesthetic of this kind of architecture.

here, I imitate stucco of lime mortar, pieces of pre-cast concrete, common tiles glazed, spanish tiles, ..

on the upper part of the balconies, in the second and third photo, there is a hole and a decorative motif also with a hole, this is to vent the flat roof.




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Now, ceilings,

some of them with suspended ceilings  decorated with rosettes and moldings, others,  with coffered plaster.

the stairs always reproduce the common "catalan vault", one of the most ingenious construction system. In USA, you have some examples of what is possible to cover with this technique in the Boston Public Library, many halls were made by the spanish architect Rafael Guastavino. This vault is made of three layers of tiles following an arch, and sometimes they are so thin that you think that the stairs will collapse while you are going up!

In those cases where you have taken out the suspended ceiling, you find the real structure made of  beams (steel or wooden) and a brick flooring vault between them (last two photos)



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finally a technique that was quite usual in art nouveau buildings, the "trencadís". The most famous examples are in Gaudí's Park Güell. It consists in covering a surface with broken pieces of glazed tiles, in order to take profit of defective parts and construction debris, although with time,  designs and solutions were more sophisticated.

The result is a coloured mosaic that you can find in wainscots, store signs, columns, façades, chimneys, and also in jardinieres... and in fact, over whatever surface you can imagine!!

I hope that this vast topic can be of your interest.




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