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2015 Best of Products Awards> Finishes + Surfaces and Interiors + Furnishings

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper's first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process. Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging. While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. Today’s categories, Finishes + Surfaces and Interiors + Furnishings, evidenced a trend toward dramatic design. FINISHES + SURFACES Winner Raw Concrete 4004 Caesarstone This surfacing material emulates the raw look and texture of concrete, while providing the durability of quartz. The non-porous slabs are heat-, stain-, and scratch-resistant, and require no sealing. Suitable for use as countertops, vanities, flooring, wall paneling, furniture, and more, the 56 1/2-inch by 120-inch panels are available in three colors and in fourteen edge treatments. Honorable Mention ViviGraphix Spectra Glass with Zoom Images Forms+Surfaces ViviGraphix Spectra Glass consists of a graphic interlayer laminated between two panes of glass. Zoom Images, a portfolio of nature-themed photography, significantly expands the possibilities for bringing beauty to large-scale glass applications. Created using sophisticated gigapixel image-capturing equipment, Zoom Images are thousands of individual photographs that are stitched and stacked together to form a single large-scale, super-high-resolution photo. Because of their extraordinary scale, the images are able to retain their clarity at very large sizes. Zoom Images are accessible through Zoom Digital Darkroom, the manufacturer’s interactive online design tool. Honorable Mention Gyptone BIG Curve CertainTeed Ceilings These perforated acoustical gypsum panels can be formed into highly curved ceilings without the cost and time associated with custom fabrication. At only 6.5 mm thick, Gyptone BIG Curve can be dry-bent to a 10-foot radius, and can achieve up to a 5-foot radius by wet bending. The panels are made of 85 percent recycled content and certified for low-VOC emissions, which contributes to sustainable building standards and helps maintain high indoor air quality. Fitted with an acoustical backing tissue, the panels are available in three perforation patterns. INTERIORS + FURNISHINGS Winner Ikaros Koleksiyon Designed for the modern mobile worker, this sofa features cleverly designed “wings” that neatly create horizontal work surfaces on three sides of the piece. The extension off the backrest is at table height, so it can be used as a desk by a person seated in a chair behind the sofa. This aspect of the design allows Ikaros to be used simultaneously from inside and outside, providing people with an inviting and inventive locus point for collaborative work. Designed by Koray Malhan. Honorable Mention Allstar Vitra Allstar contains the all the functional features of an office chair—a synchronized mechanism with lockable positioning, seat depth and height adjustment, and an adjustable backrest—in a design that suggests a relaxed, residential feel and sense of familiarity. The chair comes in a variety of colors and fabrics; leather upholstery is available. Designed by Konstantin Grcic. Honorable Mention Parti Ceilings Plus Parti utilizes complex, continuous perforation patterns that extend beyond the boundaries of individual ceiling and wall panels to give the illusion of depth to two-dimensional surfaces. Integrated LED lighting is optional; mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other building systems are readily accommodated by Parti.