Benjamin Hubert has created a range of terracotta pots with rubber lids for Danish homeware brand Menu

As a colour, as well as an earthenware material,Terracotta (terra cotta: baked earth) is fast becoming a favourite, with more and more designers harnessing its unique properties.

Its brownish/orange colour varies considerably in different examples, and as a material, it is slightly porous, making it ideal for flower pots, water pipes, bricks, surface embellishment and sculpture.

Its ability to absorb heat makes it a good insulator and the ideal material to use on the exterior of homes. Terracotta roof tiles and bricks soak up the heat from the sun, helping to keep the home cool. At the same time however, because it is a poor conductor of heat and cold, it also helps to keep the heat inside the home when it is cold outside. It also provides good sound insulation.

Altogether a pretty marvelous material, no? We had a look around and put together a few of our favourite examples.

 

Anitori Winery
Dipped Terracotta Pot,Terracotta Pendant by Thomas Housden, Tourne Coffee Cup
Cinch Side Tbale, West Elm, Another Country Terracotta Jug, Nick Fraser's faceted terracotta plant pots,Tavolo Cobogó

Fernando and Humberto Campana have designed a terracotta table made of decorative ventilation bricks commonly used in Brazilian houses.Called Tavolo Cobogó, the design uses the bricks, called Cobogó, to create a decorative table top that casts patterned shadows on the ground.

Tripod Table from Noon Studio
John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong of Studio Gorm have designed a Flow 2 kitchen where waste products are used to grow plants

Flow is a living kitchen where nature and technology are integrated in a symbiotic relationship. Processes flow into one another in a natural cycle, efficiently utilizing energy, waste, water and other natural resources.

The hanging dish rack offers vertical storage for drying dishes saving valuable counter space, and the water from the dish rack drips on the herbs and edible plants, which are grown in the terracotta planter boxes positioned below the rack.

The refrigerator is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the home. The majority of the items we refrigerate do not need to be kept as cold as a standard fridge temperatures. The terracotta evaporative cooling fridge box keeps food cool through evapo-transpiration. The space between the double walls is filled with water which slowly seeps through the outer wall and evaporates, causing the inside temperature to cool.

The Storage jars are made from unglazed terracotta with beech wood lids. They utilize the natural porous properties of terracotta, which creates an ideal environment for maintaining the consistency of bread, extending the life of garlic and onions, storing grains and growing herbs.

 

Images: Paulistano & Life on Sundays
A terracotta-coloured earth wall bounding the edge of the Lupin Research complex in India
Pots from Jaime Hayon's Gardenia Collection

Images: Life on Sundays & Blood and Champagne