Although garden fire pits might have one of the most humble origins of all garden furnishings, contemporary designers and manufacturers have refined this simple concept, into a wide range of designs that reconnect the modern era with that of our primeval ancestors.
Attika Feuer’s ‘CIRCLE’ garden fire pit is a robust metal bowl that can be used as a barbecue as well as a camp fire. Dirk Wynants-designed ‘Qrater’ for extremis is a shallow metal plate made from weathering steel, standing on a slender base and is a perfect combination of elegance and roughness. Formfjord’s ‘fireplate III’ is a square garden fire pit made out of stainless steel and creates a more minimalist, astere ambience, whereas Viteo-manufactured ‘Low Fireplace’ by 13&9 Design is an oval concrete garden fire pit that uses this modern material to refer to the stones that surround traditional camp fires.
Not all garden fire pits are meant to double as camp fires. Take GlammFire’s ‘Splash’, where a distinctive tubular base holds a tall, temperature-resistant glass container, where flames flicker happily and safely. Similarly, Radius Design’s ‘uni flame’ is a rectangular garden fire pit with heat-resistant glass walls and a base that holds bio-ethanol that acts as a sustainable and clean fuel source, meaning it can also be used inside. Another such versatile design is Simone Micheli’s ‘Menhir’ for antrax it, where a smooth, rock-like base accommodates a glass tube within which a flame can be lit.
Some garden fire pits are more akin to wooden stoves, such as the tall, triangular ‘Katan’ by Harrie Leenders, where the firewood storage, fireplace and chimney are unified in a single formal gesture made out of weathering steel. Jan des Bouvrie’s ‘Cubico XL’ for Safretti is once again an ethanol burning stove in the form of an angular, meticulously crafted, polished, stainless steel panel. Finally, Ivano Losa goes back to basics with his ‘Hole’ garden fire pit for Ak47, a weathering steel disc that can be simply laid on the ground.