The stone coffers of the ancient Greeks and Romans are the earliest surviving examples, but a seventh-century BCE Etruscan chamber tomb in the necropolis of San Giuliano, which is cut in soft tufa-like stone reproduces a ceiling with beams and cross-beams lying on them, with flat panels filling the lacunae. Today's coffers are a more decorative expression of Western architectural traditions. Coffered ceilings are generally eye-catching in America's grand homes, but the living room of Mar-a-Lago is so texturally rich with gold that the ceiling is almost an afterthought. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! Ned Redway/The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, The Influential Architecture of the Pantheon in Rome, Sunnylands, 1966, Home of the Rich and Famous, Renaissance Architecture and Its Influence, A Pediment Can Make Your Home a Greek Temple, Modern Houses, A Visual Tour of the 20th Century, Modern Architecture? The U.S. Capitol Rotunda is another good example of this architectural form open to the public for inspection. inside the public architecture of our nation's capital. The word coffer is derived from a Latin word meaning "basket" or "hollowed container." Puerta de Sol Subway Station, Madrid, Spain. See It in Beijing, China, Architecture Timeline - Western Influences on Building Design, the interior indentations on the Roman Pantheon, Salón de Pasos Perdidos within El Capitolio in Havana, Cuba, the lobby shopping area at Sea Fort Square in Tokyo, Japan. The earliest surviving examples, however, are of stone coffering, done by the ancient Greeks and Romans; the Propylaea in Athens, for example, has a stone-coffered ceiling that still shows traces of painted decoration. The architect and structural engineer design these spaces to be structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing, and acoustically controlled. Coffer components, Coffer, Lid (panel), and decorative Grid Cover, are available in either Traditional (scroll) or Modern (straight) designs. In Florence, Italy, the 15th century Salone dei Cinquecento or Hall of the 500 at the Palazzo Vecchio is well-known for its mural battle scenes painted by Michelango and da Vinci, but the ceiling panels painted by Giorgio Vasari remain an art gallery on a different plane. In ancient Chinese wooden architecture, coffering is known as zaojing (Chinese: 藻井; pinyin: zǎojǐng). Square and rectangular coffers may remind us of Western or European architecture from Greek and Roman traditions. Coffer represents craftsmanship that reflects the nostalgic past most often identified with traditional millwork. On your next trip to Washington, D.C., don't forget to look up inside the public architecture of our nation's capital. Sound design companies such as Acoustic Sciences Corp. can create residential coffers with "a grid of acoustic beams that are glued onto the surface of a ceiling." Coffey Architects is contributing to a scheme of seven new buildings by five different architects in the heart of Peckham, London. Hearst Castle Ceiling Designed by Julia Morgan. A coffer (or coffering) in architecture, is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault. Coffer creates a geometric three-dimensional beam and panel appearance. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The interior of the Florida mansion was lavishly designed by architect Joseph Urban, known for creating grandiose stage sets for the theatre. A coffer (or coffering) in architecture is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault. Coffee Architecture is no different; derived from the cultural elements of design and creating a work of art out of our everyday drink. Coffering can be found in many modern buildings.  Experimentation with the possible shapes in coffering, which solve problems of mathematical tiling, or tessellation, were a feature of Islamic as well as Renaissance architecture. The newly installed coffered ceiling seen here has transformed a basketball court into a comfortable Parish Hall for this Pennsylvania church. COFFERED ). Deeply framed to support the roof and coffers, Vasari's team tell the fantastical stories of Cosimo I, the banking patron from the House of Medici. Coffers are conveniently framed panels on which to paint, just as art or comic strips are contained within frames. A prominent example of Roman coffering, employed to lighten the weight of the dome, can be found in the ceiling of the rotunda dome in the Pantheon, Rome. Dr. Jackie Craven has over 20 years of experience writing about architecture and the arts. If a surface is "coffered," it is not smooth. Coffer, in architecture, a square or polygonal ornamental sunken panel used in a series as decoration for a ceiling or vault. Sir Christopher Wren used coffering generously in his London churches, notably in St. Paul’s Cathedral.  For centuries, it was thought that wooden coffers were first made by crossing the wooden beams of a ceiling in the Loire Valley châteaux of the early Renaissance. Search by vendor.For example: "apple" or "allied" Search by MAC Address.For example: "00:13:A9" or "00-80-C7" or "000420" If you want to lookup MAC address "08:00:69:02:01:FC":, enter first 6 characters "08:00:69", or full MAC address "08:00:69:02:01:FC". Coffered ceilings are often used to visually connect architectural spans, such as in corridors, hallways, or long gallery rooms of stately mansions. The more complicated problems of diminishing the scale of the individual coffers were presented by the requirements of curved surfaces of vaults and domes. The woman who designed Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California had a wealthy client (William Randolph Hearst), so she could pull out all the stops, Built in the first half of the 20th century, the Hearst Castle complex of buildings is a museum to American opulence. Tim Engleman via Flickr.com, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) cropped, Pistolero31 via flickr.com, Attribution Creative Commons 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) cropped, Puerta de Sol Subway Station, Madrid, Spain. Omissions? What most visitors don't see, however, is the intricate cast iron workings behind the dome coffers. Ornamentation often occurs on entablatures, columns, and the tops of buildings and around entryways and windows, especially in the form of…, Architecture, the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. Three basic and fairly distinct categories of ornament in architecture may be recognized: mimetic, or imitative, ornament, the forms of which have certain…, Ornamentation, in architecture, applied embellishment in various styles that is a distinguishing characteristic of buildings, furniture, and household items.