Ceramic Tiles of Italy Announces 2011 Design Competition Winners

Commercial/hospitality, institutional and residential projects were awarded for innovative uses of ceramic tile

The Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition showcases the work of North American architects and designers who use Italian tile in their projects. Now in its 18th year, the annual awards program sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica, the Association of Italian Ceramics and the Italian Trade Commission, continues to yield great results.

The international jury had a difficult task, with steep competition in each of the three categories: Residential, Commercial/Hospitality and Institutional. After narrowing down the finalists, they selected a winner and an honorable mention in each category based on the project’s functionality, visual appeal, original use of tile and overall design. The winning installations demonstrate how the A&D community is “thinking big” by using larger, slimmer formats and choosing tiles with recycled content and environmental certifications.

The recipients will be presented at The Ceramic Tiles of Italy Press Conference on Tuesday, March 15 during Coverings 2011 in Las Vegas, Nev. The winning architects receive $4,000 and a five-day trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie 2011. Ceramic Tiles of Italy will award an additional $1,000 to be shared by the winning contractor/distributor team.

Commercial/Hospitality Winner: RMW Architecture & Interiors
Project: Brocade Communications
Tile Manufacturer: Caesar Ceramica
Contractor: DeAnza Tile and Reputable Tile
Distributor: SpecCeramics, Inc.

With a mission to create work environments that encourage productivity and harmony within a client’s culture, RMW Architecture & Interiors was the perfect choice for the construction of the award-winning Brocade Communication’s new campus. The new 560,000-square-foot space gave Brocade Communications an opportunity to enhance their mission and values as a company and focus on growth.

Being a business of face-to-face communication, the workspace needed to be attractive and innovative while encouraging teamwork and community. RMW designed a layout consisting of universal workspaces, presentation theaters and outdoor cafes. Caesar Ceramica’s More collection was chosen as the flooring in the lobby of all three buildings, inside the elevators and throughout the public spaces on each of the 18 floors. Throughout the Bladerunner Café, the floor and accent walls are tiled in More to provide an attractive, easily maintained surface in heavily trafficked areas.

The Fairview Mall, designed by GHA Design Studios, received an honorable mention for this year’s commercial category. The renovation included re-tiling the interior public areas with large format Floor Gres Stone Tech tile on the corridors, columns, food court floor, washroom floor, entrances and interior walls.

Institutional Winner: SNC Lavalin, Inc
Project: Canada Line - Rapid Transit
Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana SPA
Contractor: SNC Lavalin, Inc.
Distributor: Stone Tile

Institutional winner SNC Lavalin, Inc. designed the Canada Line Subway featuring 16 new stations from the Vancouver International Airport to Olympic Village. 15 out of the 16 stations feature Casalgrande Padana’s Marte collection, which were used on the floors, walls, platforms and all public access areas for its long-lasting durability. Each station was designed with a slightly different appearance to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.

Fourgeron Architecture was awarded honorable mention for their work on the Ingleside Branch Public Library in San Francisco, Calif. Casa Dolce Casa tiles were chosen for the exterior of the building because of their durability and simple maintenance in a neutra gres silver color to blend in with the surrounding buildings.

Residential Winner: Belzberg Architects
Project: Kona Residence
Tile Manufacturer: Floor Gres
Contractor: DEM Construction
Distributor: Stone Source

For the stunning Kona Residence in Kona, Hawaii, Belzberg Architects found inspiration in the nature that surrounded the property. With the Hawaiian volcanic mountains to the east and the ocean’s horizon on the west, the natural elements helped to shape the geometric center of the home.

Built in a series of pods throughout the property, the layout features two sleeping rooms with common areas, a media room, master suite and a main living area. A gallery corridor connects the two wings and becomes a focal feature for the home. Influenced by Hawaiian tradition, the entryway incorporates the local basket weaving culture in a large sculptural overlay that represents the traditional arrival gift of the island. Floor Gres runs throughout the home’s floors, giving a fluid look throughout the main living areas and onto the oft-used outdoor space.

2006 Residential Design Competition winner, Hufft Projects, won this year’s honorable mention for the Curved House residence. Matthew Hufft, architect and interior designer of the project, chose Emilamerica’s Mikado tile in Ebano as the main house and cabana flooring because of its high recycled content (40 percent) and to create a consistency that gave the illusion of a large space.