Casalgrande Padana’s Upcoming Grand Prix Rewards Unique Design and Helps Foster Innovation

rom enduring ancient monuments to a tradition of excellent products, no country in the world can boast artisans with a deeper historical connection to fine stoneware than Italy. Within Italy, however, no one can beat the quality and innovations of manufacturer Casalgrande Padana. To celebrate their commitment to exceptional stoneware and its uses in contemporary architecture, they are now accepting entries for their 10th Grand Prix, recognizing the most technically accomplished and expressive uses of their materials in projects from 2012 to 2015.

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

From enduring ancient monuments to a tradition of excellent products, no country in the world can boast artisans with a deeper historical connection to fine stoneware than Italy. Within Italy, however, no one can beat the quality and innovations of manufacturer Casalgrande Padana. To celebrate their commitment to exceptional stoneware and its uses in contemporary architecture, they are now accepting entries for their 10th Grand Prix, recognizing the most technically accomplished and expressive uses of their materials in projects from 2012 to 2015.

Las Palmeras House by Artadi Arquitectos, 2012 Winner for Residential

As Italy’s first specialist in glazed stoneware, Casalgrande Padana was founded in 1960 and has grown into a progressive global leader providing solutions for everything from swimming pools to exterior industrial façades. Their commitment to responsible practices and collaboration with architects has led them to eco-friendly production policies, a Creative Centre laboratory, and the implementation of the first Grand Prix competition in 1990.

Entries into the Grand Prix have the chance to win a jackpot totaling €37,200 across five categories: shopping and offices centers; public and service industry buildings; residential buildings; façade coverings; and external floorings and swimming pools. The wide range gives ample opportunity for many projects to show off what they’ve accomplished with Casalgrande products.

Sky Luxury Center by Studio Arhis, 2012 Winner for Shopping Center

All participants will receive Casalgrande’s biannual magazine, Percorsi in Ceramica, as well as the Creative Book they assemble for each Grand Prix — a guiding resource for porcelain stoneware, its different aesthetics, and its potential. It’s a comprehensive anthology that is another way the company strives to engage users of its products and celebrate different aspects of their prized material.

With nine Grand Prix editions over the last 20 years, featuring clients from all over the globe, it’s an important and truly international affair for architecture. The list of entries and winners now includes a staggering 1,500 projects from five continents. However, previous winning entries were not only diverse in nationality, but also in style and approach.

Cedacri Group Headquarters by Andrea Mambriani, 2012 Winner for Public Entries

The jury of the 2012 Grand Prix chose a range of projects that featured ceramics as practical ornamentations as well as complex, symbolic structures. Arnis Kleinbergs from Studio Arhis took home top prize in the shopping centers category for the “Sky” luxury shopping center in Riga. Using the material to create intricate curves and spirals, he used ceramics to give the building’s interior elegance and flair as well as a nod to art-deco glamour.

Sky Luxury Center by Studio Arhis, 2012 Winner for Shopping Center

The San Pio da Pietrelcina church compound in Rome, Studio di Architettura Anselmi – Associati, took home top prize in its category for a similarly sweeping façade that utilized ceramics to modernize traditional cathedrals and mosaics while still remaining grand and impressive.

Complesso parrocchiale San Pio da Pietrelcina, by Studio di Architettura Anselmi – Associati, 2012 Winner for Façade

Alternatively, the residential section winner from Lima-based Javier Artadi won for an entirely different point of view. His understated, precise implementation of ceramics worked to frame and enhance the modern Las Palmeras House’s incredible seaside views. Artadi made the complex layering of materials and shades look natural and effortless.

Las Palmeras House by Artadi Arquitectos, 2012 Winner for Residential

Andrea Mambriani, whose Cedacri Group Headquarters in Parma claimed top prize in the Public Entries section, also won for incorporating stoneware in more subtle but still inspired ways. The addition of graphic floor bars made for striking pathways throughout the building, while an intricate ceramic facing helped give the space a sense of continuity and a detailed ventilated wall.

Cedacri Group Headquarters by Andrea Mambriani, Public Entries winner 2012

The previous Creative Book highlighted Casalgrande Padana’s “understanding of how fruitful and appropriate it is to promote closer and closer relations between industrial research and the architect’s experiments when both try to pursue innovation.” Thus, the Grand Prix is both Casalgrande’s celebration of unique applications of their products and a means of engaging with their clients that helps them innovate and keep in touch with a multitude of contemporary practices.

Prospective entrants for this year’s awards have until December 31, 2015, to submit their entry that has used Casalgrande Padana materials. Candidates can register online at GrandPrixCasalgrandePadana.com, request more information about contest rules from marketing@casalgrandepadana.it, or visit the competition page on Architizer for more information.

© Raoul Kramer

Bussum Garden Studio // Serge Schoemaker Architects

Bussum, Netherlands

© Alain Carle Architecte

The Elves // Alain Carle Architecte

Morin-Heights, Canada

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