Designing Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits
In the same way that people love to gather around the fireplace in their indoor living spaces, people are drawn to the fireplaces and fire pits in their outdoor spaces. They provide warmth, light, a cooking source and ambiance. Kids never weary of roasting marshmallows and making s’mores on summer evenings and foil packets of meat and fresh, seasonal vegetables tucked into the coals make easy meals. Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are especially welcome as the days get shorter and the air turns cooler—they extend the season of your outdoor living space.
Fireplace and fire pit materials can be as utilitarian as concrete, but there are endless other durable options in beautiful stones and bricks. For indoor fireplaces, there are limitations imposed by the size and shape of a room, but few of these limitations exists in the outside spaces, so for many homeowners, this is the chance to get creative and build a fireplace that has a hearth big enough for people to actually sit on, or an opening that is large enough to cook in.
When designing a fire pit, we’re careful to allocate plenty of room around the pit to accommodate chairs for people to comfortably sit and be able to move away from the heat if they get too warm. It’s important to think about whether the fire pit is going to be a focal part of the overall landscape architecture, or will it be in a corner of the grounds, an area to which people can retreat to get away from other activities.