Wood flooring: defining a cultural history in building materials

Hey Good People – Rob here.

One of the things about wood flooring, and other building materials, is that they’re not just inanimate objects or lifeless goods. They have the potential to become a part of history. This often means just your own history, or the history of your family, your visitors, your employees, or your customers. Sometimes though, use of wood flooring and other building materials goes beyond that and contributes to the richness of an entire culture.

Falingwater House Frank Lloyd WrightJust as one example, take a look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in Western Pennsylvania. Wright used cork flooring, a historically new material for floors back in 1937 when the residence was built. Yet now, those cork floors have become a part of history, a part of an architectural golden age. The cork flooring installed there remains to be enjoyed by visitors to the property to this day.

As another example is the Bradbury Building, the national historic landmark building built in the 1890s and located in Los Angeles (and featured in a number of Hollywood movies across the decades from 1944’s Double Indemnity, 1982’s Blade Runner, and various films and TV series since…). It’s been refurbished many times, but has included Mexican tile floors in its atrium, and more recently bamboo flooring in a newly established art gallery in the building.

The Bradbury Building

There is a tension between the practical considerations of building projects and the art of interior design. Yet both are geared towards creating something which is lasting. Wood floors have played a part in making sure that some of the most notable structures in the world have maintained their mystique across the generations. Interior designs and materials associated with them have the potential to frame some of the best memories of your life. That’s a powerful thing.

Who’s to say? Maybe your next building project featuring wood flooring will make the history books.

What are some of the most memorable interiors you can recall from your childhood, or seen on your travels since then? Tell me all about it, Good People!



Fallingwater house image courtesy of Halley
Bradbury Building interior image courtesy of Mister-E

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