Next gen: gas fires - Architecture NZ
Next gen: gas fires

Next gen: gas fires

A new generation of gas fireplaces is emerging from a team of Dunedin-based engineers and designers intent on developing the status quo and providing innovative New Zealand-first solutions. We had a chat to the team at MODE Fires about visual trickery, realistic flame patterns and fires that can be placed, well, anywhere.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Gas fires are ever-popular for their growing efficiency in terms of heat output, as well as the ambience they create with flames that can now closely mimic an open fire.

But, as the MODE Fires team found, trends and technology were developing at pace overseas and New Zealand was somewhat lagging in terms of being able to access the latest on the global market. As a result MODE Fires was born, a small company taking big steps forward.

Linked to Escea, the MODE Fires team represents a diverse group of engineers and designers aiming to disrupt the market and introduce fresh options for specifiers and designers in the fireplace market.

“We saw what was happening in Europe in terms of what people were favouring, which was fires with more than one side, and those of unconventional shapes,” MODE Fires’ Alex Hodge says.

“Those options weren’t available in the New Zealand market and so we set about designing a new range to meet the market.” The first five fires were released in April and have seen immediate popularity, due, no doubt, to their ultimate point of difference.

MODE Fires can be placed anywhere in a room. “Their flue technology is the same as that of Escea fires, which all have a power flue.” Essentially operated by a fan, a power flue takes away the need for the flue to run vertically out of the space and allows for fires to be placed anywhere with the flue running below or horizontally to the fire.”

A desire to move towards frameless fires and open gas fires was also evident overseas, and these two concepts were ones that the MODE Fires team put significant research and development into.

The result is a range of fires whose glass is almost invisible. “It is a New Zealand-first, and something that creates a unique aspect to these fires,” Alex says. The glass is coated with an anti-reflective agent that takes away any reflections in the same way reading glasses with a similar coating do, rendering the glass almost invisible.

The technology also allows for the fires to be surrounded with any material, taking away the need for fire-rated board, and designers aren’t shy to experiment with recent fire installations framed with everything from leather to timber. “People want to be able to just focus on the ambience that the flames create rather than the glass in front of it or the frames surrounding it that can take away from the visual focus,” Alex says. That’s something that’s now more of a possibility than ever. One of the most popular MODE Fires so far is the MODE Tall, which is a large 840mm by 1062mm fire, often specified as a centrepiece in a room.

“The beauty of these fires is that they offer designers a new level of creative freedom in that they can place them anywhere in a space, and they are unconventional form and size, following the European trends,” Alex says.

MODE Fires are available nationwide through Stoke Fireplace Studio. If you’re after some innovative inspiration, make sure you stop by one of Stoke Fireplace Studio’s showrooms, or visit them on ArchiPro here.

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