Fire in the cube

Through two decades of custom home building in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia areas, Tom Healy saw a distinct need in the market for a product line and company that made it easier for designers and builders to use a gas fireplace as a design element in custom and unique environments. Thus, Spark Modern Fires was born in 2005.

The company began primarily with fire ribbons, but its newest introduction, The Cube, reimagines the outdoor fire element and presents it in a 34 ½-in. square by 28 ½-in. tall cube shape. “It’s one of those ‘necessity being the mother of invention’ products,” says Healy, speaking to why he developed this fire component. “We have other outdoor elements, and people build them into brick and masonry enclosures or fire troughs. I wanted to create an element that was different and stood out in the marketplace.”

It is available in stainless steel and a powder-coated red finish. “If it’s going to be sculptural and celebrate the shape, why not punctuate it with a color or finish not seen in nature?” Healy says. “The stainless steel pops on the landscape, as does a punch of red. Most fire pits are designed to blend in and we took the opposite approach.”

The Cube can remain outside year-round, though the company recommends against installing it in areas susceptible to saltwater corrosion and high winds. “It’s like a car finish, and there could be fading over time, but it will wear nicely,” Healy says.

It can be ordered for natural gas or propane and is meant to be installed in one spot rather than becoming a mobile element. Healy says a hard pipe usually is connected to a gas line that connects to a remote gas tank.

The Cube comes with a cover to protect the firebox and also allows the unit to double as a table. Healy has displayed it at several trade shows. “People love it; they think it’s clever,” he says. “We have one on display with the lid on as a table and one with the lid off, burning. They have their ‘a-ha’ moment looking at the two when they realize they’re the same.”

Other options include a safety screen and mat, plus four choices of decorative fire objects: black glass, clear glass, lava rock or small basalt stones. The Cube is accepted by all major building and mechanical codes in the United States including the IMC and the UMC and approved in all 50 states and Canada. More information about this new model as well as other Spark Modern Fires products can be found at sparkfires.com, or circle 38. QR

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