From antiquity to modern times, pavements take many forms; from simple flags of native stone to vast ‘carpets’ of limestone, terracotta, marble or mosaic.
As early as the 4th Century BC, Egyptian temples had vast areas of stone flooring – conveying godly power and permanence. Early Christianity continued the tradition, paving basilicas and churches with floors laden with secret symbolism. Landmark buildings have always used stone pavements to impress and to provide a durable surface for the passage of feet.
Through colour and pattern, pavements have also carried messages to those equipped to read them. Egyptian architects, for instance, portrayed mystic energies using geometric black and white stone. We can trace the development of this idea through history… black and white floors became icons of locations as diverse as Europe’s great cathedrals, Flemish merchant houses and Masonic Halls. The meaning behind this and other designs is lost to many, but the aesthetics remain as vigorous as ever.
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