From a chic luxury cruise ship to a gleaming-bright office, the honorees of one Italian design competition share in common not only downright beauty, but also mastery in the use of a particular material — tile. The 2016 Ceramics of Italy recognized six projects in the categories of residential, commercial and institutional for their overall design excellence, effective and creative uses of Italian tile and quality of the tile installation.
Winner: Turnberry Residence by Shinberg.Levinas Architects
Affording panoramic views of the Potomac River, Arlington, Key Bridge and Georgetown, this penthouse condominium was renovated to complement such amenities with large open spaces and clean and near-seamless floor and wall planes. To achieve this, the architects specified Lea Ceramiche’s large-format Slimtech Basaltina Stone Project porcelain tiles throughout with minimal joints. The smooth, continuous surfaces resulted in a dramatic backdrop to flow from interior to exterior.
Turnberry Residence; photos by Shinberg.Levinas Architects
Honorable Mention: Through House by DUBBELDAM Architecture + Design
Situated in downtown Toronto, this house was renovated to expand its interior space without necessarily increasing its overall footprint. The DUBBELDAM team responded by creating a strong visual connection between the main living space and the house’s backyard via large floor-to-ceiling windows, an open floor plan and continuity between interior and exterior: Casalgrande Padana’s Architecture collection was applied indoors and out, its linearity directing the eye through the house and into the garden.
Through House; photos by Bob Gundu
Honorable Mention: Bridgehampton Private Pool by Geoffrey A. Blatt Interior Design & Decoration
At a private residence in Long Island, New York, the backyard boasts a stunning swimming pool with a surround and deck clad in Kronos Ceramiche’s Maple Doga 2.0 slabs. The series evokes weathered and whitewashed maple wood yet maintains its water resistance for the pool area. The same manufacturer’s 2-centimeter-thick Stone Altatiles were also dropped onto the yard’s grass to create stepping-stone walkways and a back deck.
Bridgehampton Private Pool; photos by Geoffrey A. Blatt
Winner: Kaye Scholer Headquarters by Gensler
A welcoming environment for the client — century-old legal practice Kaye Scholer — and the law firm’s clients in turn, the New York City offices present a number of modern amenities including a terrace, social spaces and exceptional food service. Large, continuous areas of flooring and a bright, elegant palette enhance all of the above. Gensler utilized Atlas Concorde’s Marvel line, which simulates white Calacatta marble that’s rich with gray veining.
Kaye Scholer Headquarters (also shown at top); photos by Garrett Rowland
Honorable Mention: Viking Star by Rottet Studio in association with SMC Design
Tile was an obvious choice for this Viking Ocean Cruises vessel as it met strict requirements for marine environments, slip resistance, fire codes and weight limitations. But the attractive styles offered in Italian tiles today also met the aesthetic needs of the cruise brand. The design team turned to a variety of brands and products including Rex tiles for the atrium and walkways; custom-graphic tiles from Lea Ceramiche; Norwegian-pattern-evoking mosaics from Mosaico+ for the pools and lido deck; Caesar’s stone-mimicking tiles on thermal benches in the spa; and Laminam’s large-format tiles in stateroom baths.
Viking Star; photos by Eric Laignel
Winner: UJA Federation Community Complex by ARK
Situated on a community campus in Vaughan, Canada, this complex consists of centers for community health, early childhood education, conferencing and meeting, art and dance culture, aquatic fitness and recreation and holocaust remembrance. ARK chose Mirage’s Stones SO Series in varying hues to create minimal yet sophisticated surfaces that tie all of these functions together while also expressing ideals of the Jewish community such as charity, friendship and beauty. The porcelain tiles are also low maintenance, hardwearing and slip resistant.
UJA Federation Community Complex; photos by Tom Arban