Tiles of the Oceans, Portugal
by Chermayeff & Geismar Inc.
A tile mural some five stories high graces the most visible side of the Lisbon Aquarium. From a distance it appears to depict almost photographic images of marine life. Viewed close-up, the images dissolve, becoming an abstract tapestry of classic Portuguese ceramic tile patterns.
‘The Tiles of the Oceans is a monolithic wall of 54,000 classic blue and white tiles hand made in Portugal. The mural, six stories high and 240-feet-long, weaves through the interior and exterior of the Lisbon Aquarium, inviting people inside to cue up for the main exhibit. The images were first scanned on the computer and then pixilated. They are created from 64 geometric tile designs, each a percentage value of dark to light in 10 degree increments.’
‘Thirty different creatures from each of the world’s oceans were selected to co-habitate this one space. The quilt pattern was chosen as a symbol of the traditional crafts of world cultures. At close rage, the viewer focuses on a microcosm of the ocean’s inhabitants, then when viewed at a distance, the big picture comes into focus.’ – SEGD
Ivan Chermayeff, Chris Rover
Chermayeff, Sologub & Poole
Ceramica Constance, Catasul, Montagem,
Homem a Maquina, Filipe Condado, Chris Rover
Courtesy of Chermayeff & Geismar Inc.