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Ceramics of Italy Competition announces winners

The 25th anniversary of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency, was an immense success, attracting inspiring and innovative projects from designers and architects throughout North America. Ultimately, four winners and three honorable mentions were selected among the steep competition by an international jury of design industry experts across four categories: residential, commercial, institutional, and a newly introduced student category. Each of the finalists demonstrated how Italian tile plays an important role in the realization of thoughtfully conceived interior design and architecture.

As a way of honoring the past, present, and future of the competition, Ceramics of Italy also created a film directed by Francesca Molteni and architectural historian Fulvio Irace. Timeless Tiles: The Italian Legacy tells the story of the competition from its inception in 1994 to present day, featuring dozens of inspiring projects and interviews with architects Daniel Libeskind, Jennifer Carpenter and Michael P. Johnson.

Following are the winners:

COMMERCIAL WINNER

Firm: Studio Libeskind

Project: Sapphire

Location: Berlin, Germany

Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana

Distributor: Casalgrande Padana

Contractor: Medicke Metallbau GmbH, NL Berlin

The Sapphire project involved building 73 desirable, 1-4 bedroom apartments on a plot less than half an acre, whilst promoting new technologies and sustainability. One of the most important design elements were the tiles used to cover 2,600 sq. m. of the building’s exterior. The three dimensional, geometric, patterned stoneware tile was a signature design feature for this project. Designed by Daniel Libeskind for Casalgrande Padana, the Fractile tiles are technologically advanced to self-clean and aid in air purification. The tiles were also used on the balcony wall creating a continuous surface extending from the building’s façade. Around 3,600 tiles were used in the project. The Fractile series continues on the building’s interior, through the bathrooms, resulting in a vibrant metallic finish for the floors and the shower walls.

COMMERCIAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: Kay Green Design

Project: Venetian Isle Clubhouse

Location: Windermere, FL

Tile Manufacturer: Floor Gres, Ergon, Marca Corona

Distributor: Ceramic Technics

Contractor: Martin’s Flooring

The Venetian Isle Clubhouse is a multi-family community clubhouse in Windermere, Florida that is an elegant entertaining space for all ages. Tiles from Floor Gres and Ergon were used throughout the space due to their high quality, yet resilient surfacing. The  project  was   inspired by the city of Venice, therefore Italian tile was naturally the most authentic choice. The designer also felt confident that  tile from Italian companies would ensure a  high  level  of  quality and aesthetic  that she was seeking for the project. Floor Gres’s Floor Tech tiles were used as the main overall floor tile while Marca Corona’s Terra collection was used for the vanity wall in the restroom and Ergon Elegance Engineered Stone was used as a floor mosaic.

RESIDENTIAL WINNER

Firm: Ziger/Snead Architects*

Project: Baltimore Slate House

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Tile Manufacturer: Imola Ceramica

Distributor: Conestoga Tile

Contractor: Custom Concepts by Greenwalt

Setting Materials: MAPEI

*2009 Residential Honorable Mention

The Slate House is a contemporary retreat that respects nature and the legacy of the vast and densely wooded site. The 7,000 sq ft building was destroyed by a recent house fire, however the design team set out to reconnect the site to the existing contextual environment. The design embodies an archetypal gable form, a geometric extrusion that is both reductive and minimal that yields cathedral ceilings. Tiles from Imola Ceramica Concrete Project were selected for all of the flooring throughout the home, and Mapei products were used for the setting materials. It was chosen due to the seamlessly transitional ability to use same product inside and outside and support the  architectural vision to blur the interior and exterior spaces. Italian tile was selected due to its quality and the large format size options which were needed for the design of this private home.

RESIDENTIAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: DI Group

Project: Norwich

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Tile Manufacturer: Refin

Distributor: DI Group

Contractor: Darmont Construction Corporation

The Norwich proiect is a contemporary family home in West Hollywood, California, made up of open communal spaces ideal for entertaining and family life. With lots of windows allowing for natural light throughout the space, light colored neutral tiles were used to reflect the light and translate the openness of the interior across the flooring. Three tile collections from Refin (District, Larix and Barrique) were used in the interior and exterior of the home demonstrating the versatile properties of Italian tile.

INSTITUTIONAL WINNER

Firm: ZAS Architects + Interiors

Project: Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University

Location: North York, Ontario

Tile Manufacturer: ABK

Distributor: Division 9

Contractor: Gem Campbell Terrazzo & Tile Inc.

Setting Materials: MAPEI

For the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University, the client wanted to demonstrate sustainable building practices, while utilizing the advantages of an existing campus energy system. The project has been registered with the CaGBC and has targeted LEED Gold certification along with Toronto Green Standard Tier 2. ABK Downtown tiles were used on the ground floor, throughout the corridors and in the social spaces with MAPEI products completing the space as the setting materials. Tiles were also installed in assembly and exhibition spaces, as well as the student café and the orientation room. Although polished concrete was considered for the project, porcelain tile was chosen in the end due to its durability, low porosity and stain resistant properties. Italian tile provided a clean, simple and contemporary look matching that of natural concrete but captured tonal and pattern variation achieved through the latest technology.

INSTITUTIONAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: O’Brien & Keane

Project: Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Tile Manufacturer: Provenza, Ergon

Distributor: Architectural Ceramics

Contractor: David Allen Company

Setting Materials: MAPEI

The design for the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral builds on the heritage of classical sacred architecture arranged in a cruciform layout, with the main axis of the building placed in an east to west orientation. The building is approximately 43,000 square feet and has a seating capacity of over 2,000 people. The main building announces the design theme and introduces classical order. The client wanted to focus on environmentally conscious and resilient materials for the project, therefore Italian porcelain tile was chosen as an ideal material for sustainable building. Beautiful tiles from Provenza Q-Stone as well as Ergon’s Silverstone and Back2Back collections were used on the floor throughout the Nave, Transepts and Narthe. Various products from Mapei were used as setting materials including grouts, sealants and self-leveling underlayment. Additional benefits of tile that were a consideration when selecting a flooring material were the low water absorption due to its compact and non-porous structure.

 

STUDENT WINNER

Entrant: Raquel Raney and Brennan Broome

University Name: Florida International University

Declared Major: Interior Architecture

Project: Dover Street Market

Location: Miami, FL

Tile Manufacturer: Atlas Concorde, Ceramica Vogue, Ornamenta

The Dover Street Market offers an environment where the classic, elegance of art and fashion collide with an industrial aesthetic. The use of ceramic and porcelain tile, as pictured in the renderings, allows for the desired aesthetic to be achieved, while using cost-effective and environmentally-friendly materials that will hold their integrity for many years. The variety of colors, patterns and textures of ceramic tiles, create endless opportunities for juxtaposition of the industrial-like materials with polished, sophisticated surfaces. A mix of collections from Atlas Concorde, Ceramica Vogue and Ornamenta were selected to complement the interior design. Due to its consistency and composition, tile is one of the most durable floor materials and lasts much longer than traditional glazed tile, making it a great selection for a high traffic retail store.

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Ceramics of Italy is the trademark for Italian manufacturers of ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and tableware, that are members of Confindustria Ceramica. For more information visit ceramica.info or follow Ceramics of Italy on Facebook (@CeramicsOfItalyNA) and YouTube (@LaCeramicaItaliana) as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (@CeramicsOfItaly).

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