Brought to you with support fromLondon-based collective Assemble has built a temporary “factory” at the A/D/O creative space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and clad its front with custom hand-made tiles produced on site. This is the Turner Prize–winning group’s first U.S. project, which forms part of the inaugural Design Academy at A/D/O, a center that allows the public to work, explore, and participate in design exhibitions and events. The installation is inspired by utopian ideals of the factory as a healthy space shared by humans and machines for production, leisure, and education. Assemble designed an open steel frame structure that produces an outdoor courtyard. Clay tiles to clad the factory were steadily manufactured by a team using a single clay extruder and an electric kiln. A/D/O’s Design Academy participated as a collaborator in the process, which resulted in numerous additional items such as planters, dinnerware, and decorative objects. Louis Schultz, a member of Assemble, shares insights into their working process below: The Architect's Newspaper: Can you share any insights into the formal shape of the tiles used on the facade? Louis Schultz: The tiles work just like standard ceramic overlapping roof tiles. Each one overlaps covers half of two tiles below it as well as covering the seam between them. The difference is that because our installation was a rain screen on a vertical surface we didn’t need as much overlapping as roof tiles. The ribbed shape was partly about showing off the process of extrusion, but they also helped with airflow underneath the tile while the clay was drying, which reduced warping. The hook at the end of the tile was formed by hand after extrusion and it helps the tiles overlap neatly. How big is an individual tile unit? The tiles are approximately 16-inch by 6-inch. We noticed the tiles are installed with two fasteners at the top of each unit. Is it difficult to cut the holes into the tiles? The holes are cut while the clay is still soft using a tool called a hole cutter. The tool consists of a wooden handle with a small metal tube attached of the diameter of the hole you want cut. The business end of the tube is normally cut at 45 degrees. With one pug mill and an electric kiln, how long did it take you to produce the tiles for this installation? From conception to completion, it took about a month. We took delivery of the pug mill (which we had never used before) on the 14th of January and we had the whole exhibition completely finished by 12th of February. We spent a lot of time in the first couple of weeks playing around with the extruder, we made a couple of hundred cups and a couple of hundred other pieces, some useful, some less so. Once we had settled on a design for the tiles, it took about two weeks to manufacture and install them. The main limiting factor was the amount we could fit in the kiln. Were you concerned about the patterning of blue vs white? Is this something you planned or allowed to naturally occur? We weren’t sure exactly how it was going to look until we did it. We had long discussions about doing horizontal blue and white stripes instead while the first batch was firing in the kiln. In the end, we plumped for random because we thought it would be more forgiving of color variations and we knew we would have to use every last tile we made. We couldn't afford to reject any due to slight color discrepancies. We decided to embrace the discrepancies and make batches of lighter and darker blues. We chose the blue after comparing it to a few other pigments, the white we came to later as it was just plain uncoloured clay. It was an easy decision to make as white was the least amount of work to produce. We didn’t draw the random pattern, we just fixed the tiles on the building randomly. What was the most challenging issue to this project? The most challenging issue was probably navigating the NYC Department of Building (DOB) regulatory framework. As a foreigner, it seems like a very draconian and overly bureaucratic system. How did this project compare to Yardhouse? Obviously, that's a reference point. But process-wise it was completely different; the Yardhouse tiles were fibre-reinforced concrete applied into metal molds, whereas these were extruded clay.
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From recycled acoustic installations to intricate tile mosaics, the latest wall coverings are innovative, functional, and downright stylish. Xorel Artform Carnegie This high-performance wall paneling is available in over 200 colors and textures, with four different panel shapes that are each available in three sizes. Each panel is individually upholstered by hand using sustainable materials. The amount of highly personalized combinations allows for a range of uses in both residential and commercial spaces. Origami Akdo Akdo’s expertly cut marble tiles allow the veining on each piece to perfectly align with each other to create the illusion of a seamless line that looks folded like traditional Japanese origami. The patterns are offered in a choice of four warm taupe or cool gray colorways. Sakura Collection Fireclay Tile Hand painted on 70-percent recycled clay tiles, the Sakura Collection displays subtle earth toned hues that are derived from traditional Japanese landscapes, including patterns that resemble mountains, tortoise shells, and river rocks. They are available in eight-by-eight and six-by-twelve sizes. Dimensioni Collection New Ravenna Inspired by the Byzantine technique of placing gold pieces at certain angles to reflect light, the New Leaf tile mosaic is available in four color ways of metallic glass: platinum, rose gold, champagne gold, and gunmetal. In addition, the collection has two other modern mosaic designs inspired by the landscapes of Italy crafted in Italian marble. Tweed Mesh Cambridge Architectural Cambridge is known for its architectural mesh; it has recently released two new patterns, including a “tweed” mesh made with stainless steel and brass that resembles the weave of a classic wool overcoat—so much so that it has been used in several lounges for British Airways. Geo Wallpaper Direct Part of a larger collection of hyper-realistic photo paper by Ella Doran, this print is intended to capture texture and sunlight on solid architectural surfaces and adds a touch of glamour to smaller spaces without the bulk of using actual stone.
Cevisama is the largest annual ceramic and terracotta exhibition in the world. Architects and designers from the whole world are here, but there is almost no North American representation—either displaying products, media reporting on building advances with the material, or architects looking for new products. Thus it was surprising to run across this Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) project from their Material Processes and Systems Group student studio. It is one of the most advanced and exciting projects in the entire fair. Have a closer look below.
This week, AN is at Cevisama ceramic tile fair in Valencia, Spain. In day one we visited San Gines, a small tile factory in the village of Talavera de la Reina near Toledo. A studio that still produces tiles painted and fired by hand, San Gines is currently producing and exquisite tile mural for a new Philippe Starck–designed restaurant on Brickell Avenue in Miami. The mosaic riffs on tattoos and graffiti to update the factory’s antique handmade tradition and produce a unique and spirited interior. The restaurant will open this summer in Miami.
Marc Jacobs flagship store features a tripartite facade of aluminum, tile, and glass.Commissioned to design Marc Jacobs' flagship Tokyo store, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects' first order of business was to rectify the desire for an iconic urban presence with strict local regulations. To make the 2,800-square-meter shop more visible from nearby Omotesando Street, the architects took advantage of a loophole in the building code that allowed them to double the height of the structure as long as the top half was not occupiable. The catch was that the code required a 500-millimeter gap between the occupiable and non-occupiable spaces. "Our first strategy was to create a louvered facade system that would disguise [the divide]," recalled principal Stephan Jaklitsch. But after an afternoon walk through the Imperial gardens, they reversed course. "We were inspired by the vernacular architecture," said project architect Jonathan Kirk. "We wanted to somehow utilize the language of proportions, but also the materiality within that experience. Rather than trying to create something that was monolithic, we began to look at different materials for each of the building's components." The result, called Tōrō Ishi Ku (lantern-rock-void), makes its mark on the city with a tripartite facade in punched aluminum, bespoke tile, and glass. The top, non-occupiable half of the store is wrapped in stamped aluminum panels. Jaklitsch came up with the idea of a patterned two-dimensional facade after a trip to Prague Castle. "There was a smooth facade, but it employed a visual trick to deliver an illusion of depth," he said. "We were in a sense doing the same thing [in Tokyo]. It looks like a quilted facade, and appears to wrap around seamlessly." The texture of small punched holes was derived from a method of fabrication common throughout Tokyo. Behind the aluminum, the architects installed a fabric scrim that in turn reflects light from a series of LEDs, so that the upper portion of the building—the tōrō, or lantern—glows at night. A second optical illusion concerns the size of the aluminum panels themselves. Each large rectangular aluminum panel in fact comprises four separate aluminum pieces bolted together. Deep reveal seams between each four-part component result from turning the edges over to create rigidity, and also allow for thermal expansion and movement during seismic activity. "What ends up looking very simple in presentation is actually quite complex," said Kirk. Jaklitsch/Gardner defined the central portion of the building—the ishi, or "rock" containing a ready-to-wear showroom—with an opaque rain screen of bespoke tile. The building falls within a fire zone, so the architects were restricted to either fire glass or a non-combustible material. "Because it was also a more private program, and because we were dealing with various conditions in the adjacent buildings, we clad the entire thing in porcelain tile," explained Kirk. The sole exceptions are a single window on each of the building's east and west faces. The blade-shaped tiles were made from molds with a score joint in the middle. Each larger component was broken in two to create bespoke texturing along two edges; the half-tiles were then randomized and arranged in offset rows to form an interlocking pattern at the building's corners. The architects had originally intended to adhere the tile directly to the second floor's extruded concrete exterior, but the porcelain proved too heavy. Instead, they worked with the manufacturer to develop a custom fixing solution, in which the tiles are held off the wall by a series of metal studs. As a result, said Kirk, "the tiles can appear continuous across the concrete panels, which have seams about every three feet. The tiles are independent of the seams because the mounting brackets aren't affected by them." Like the aluminum panels above, the tiles are designed to move freely in case of an earthquake. Tōrō Ishi Ku's "void"—its ground-floor display room—is a transparent glass box. "We went through a number of different studies to get the proportions of the first and second floor just right," said Jaklitsch. The architects discovered that by restricting the height to three meters, they could eliminate the need for anchoring fins, thus increasing the sense of openness to the surrounding buildings. The feeling of continuity between inside and out is further emphasized by the use of honed granite for both the interior floor and the surrounding sidewalks. In this case, Jaklitsch/Gardner's sleight-of-hand worked too well. After several pedestrians collided with the glass, the architects modified the design by applying a subtle vertical striping to the exterior glass at eye level. One final consideration helped shape the shop's unique envelope: the rapidity with which the surrounding built environment is changing. The life expectancy of structures in the area averages only 26 years, explained Jaklitsch. Even as they were designing Tōrō Ishi Ku, the building across the street was torn down. "It became a matter of balancing the massing with this transitional zone between the commercial and residential districts," he said. "We were trying to anticipate the next three chess moves in this urban game."
Visual grace notes to architectural compositions, surface and finish materials can bring tactility, color, and pattern into a space. From floor to ceiling, from wood and tile to composites and carpeting, here's our pick of the current palette. Plank Floors Dinesen Founded in 1898, this family-run company sources Douglas fir and oak from the best forests in Europe, selecting trees between eighty and 200 years old for exceptional custom flooring installations. Route 66 Viridian Reclaimed Wood These reclaimed red oak and white oak planks and panels get their rustic character from their original use as decking on tractor-trailers. In a variety of lengths and sizes. Waldilla Offered in five wood species—oak, fumed oak, sycamore maple, American cherry, and birch—these free-form flooring planks are anything but straight and narrow. Linear Line Collection Smith & Fong These carved interior panels are LEED-eligible, as the 4-foot by eight-foot, 3/4 inch sheets are made of 100% FSC-certified bamboo. Aura Dekton These fifty-six-inch by 125-inch ceramic slabs can be bookmatched for exterior or interior applications. Available in three thicknesses: 0.8cm, 1.2cm, and 2.0cm. Deep Nocturne DuPont Corian A classic jet black, the solid surfacing can be used in residential, office, and hospitality projects. The material can be thermoformed or worked using conventional wood-shop techniques. Fossil DTS Offered in five patterns, these 24-inch by 24-inch floor-rated porcelain tiles are available in beige, brown, and grey. Designed by Kasia Zareba. Star Land Porcelanico Frost-resistant, this porcelain tile is thermoformed to achieve a three-dimensional surface. In 60cm by 60cm format. Tierras Artisanal Mutina Made of extruded natural terra cotta, this collection comprises five three-dimensional tiles. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Luminous Carpets Durable, light-transmissive carpeting from Desso combined with super-thin, programmable LED units from Philips turns the floor into a canvas for communication or decoration. Launching in America in April 2015. Cell Lama Made of industrial wool felt, this carpet is pressed—rather than woven or loomed—into random patterns. The material is non-flammable, soundproof, and water-resistant. HEM Collection Carpet Concept This collection of woven carpet is based on non-directional patterns of colored dots. In thirty-four colorways. Designed by Ben van Berkel/UNStudio. Tatami Nanimarquina Soft New Zealand wool is loomed with crisp jute to create a unique textured floorcovering. Designed by Ariadna Miquel and Nani Marquina. Henrik Large Designtex A wallcovering on DNA substrate, the strong lines and colors produce a dynamic pattern; from a distance, the crisp edges blend into an overall design that recalls an Ikat weave. Tall Wolf-Gordon Bending lines weave foreground and background together to create the illusion of height. In seven colorways. Designed by Morgan Bajardi.
In October on a visit to London, friends mentioned that Eduardo Paolozzi's early 1980 tile mosaics in the Tottenham Court tube station were going to be demolished. I diverted a Northern Line trip from Bank Street to the Charing Cross branch of the line and and walked through the Tottenham Station taking poorly lit iPhone images of the threatened mosaics. Paolozzi was a founding member of the English Independent Group and as an important early pop artist. His tube station artworks are a colorful and bright addition to a public space that is usually generic and often downright lifeless and boring. In fact, the Paolozzi art work makes this one of the most unique and recognizable train stations in the world and the thought that it would be destroyed seems mad. But now English news sources are reporting that while major parts of the mosaics will be destroyed other parts of it will be saved. The station is being reconfigured and enlarged as part of Cross Rail, the new English national train system, being integrated into the London underground. But the English Twentieth Century Society, which is devoted to preserving modern design from 1914 to the present, pointed out that two of the stations most recognizable Paolozzi additions—a double set of tiled arches over the escalators in the main concourse and a large decorative panel at the entrance to the south side of Oxford Street—will be destroyed. They argue the mosaics could easily be retrofitted into the new station. Hawkins/Brown, the architects for the new station, pointed out that they are preserving as much of Paolozzi’s work as possible, claiming 95 percent of the mosaics will be saved using a mix of original and replica tiles. Lets hope an accommodation can be worked out for these major parts of this important Paolozzi work.
From Andre Kikoski to Leo Marmol to David Mullman, top architects spill the beans on their favorite products—glazing, surfaces, and finish materials. Lasvit Liquidkristal A molded-glass sheet suitable for interior and exterior applications, the relief pattern is continuous between panels. “In Sophie’s restaurant at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago, we installed a wall of digitally-engineered Liquidkristal by Lasvit. The optical effects of cascading ripples of glass create playful reflections, painterly distortions, and elegant abstract patterns that are beautiful in their subtlety and striking in their boldness.” —Andre Kikoski, Andre Kikoski Architect, New York City Lutron Dorma Digitally controlled commercial lighting-control and monitoring system. Compatible with dimming ballasts. “Lutron and its EcoSystem node allows for multiple lighting atmospheres that enable us to create unique spatial environments, while saving our clients money on their electrical bills.” —Ricardo Alvarez-Diaz, Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon Architecture and Interior Design, Miami/San Juan Duravit Happy D.2 Offered in pedestal, console, and surface-mounted models; with or without tap platform. “We love the simplicity and rounded corners of the Happy D.2 sink from Duravit. It has enough presence to stand on its own as a wall-mounted unit, but can sit happily atop an elegant modern vanity as well. It’s our go-to sink!” —Susan Doban, Doban Architecture, New York City Heath Ceramics Sun Valley Bronze Seven in-stock collections of field, trim, and dimensional tile; custom orders accepted. LEED eligible. “We love the handcrafted, high-quality products that Heath creates; its wonderful tile adorns many of our projects, and we share a set of core design principles that celebrates the efficiency and elegance of modern design.” —Leo Marmol, Marmol Radziner, Los Angeles Luceplan Trama Available as suspension and ceiling/wall model, in 20-inch or 25-inch diameter. Aluminum with polycarbonate diffuser. “The Luceplan Trama fixture gives lots of beautiful light and it’s amazingly easy to change the bulb. For us, it’s often the vendor that is as significant as the product; nothing is more important than good service and help when you need it.” —David Mullman, Mullman Seidman Architects, New York City Vorwerk Re/Cover Green SPVC-free, roll-based floor covering. High slip-resistance. Offered in 30 solid colors and patterns. LEED eligible. “Engineered textiles sourced from sustainable materials—like the Re/Cover line by Vorwerk—is what made us select Relative Space as a design partner at Barclays Center.” —Ayumi Sugiyama, SHoP Architects, New York City Nawkaw LiTHIUM Concrete and Masonry Stains Suitable for use on masonry and pre-cast concrete surfaces, the stain is offered in 40 colors, as well as metallic and reflective finishes. “For exteriors where we can’t match the brick color or where some stucco or coating has been applied to the masonry, one of products that we like a lot these days is LiTHIUM by Nawkaw. It’s similar to paint, but it’s not a film; it actually forms a chemical bond with the surface of the masonry.” —Jerry Caldari, Bromley Caldari Architects, New York City Hansgrohe Croma Green Showerpipe Assembly includes both Raindance S 150 AIR Green 1-jet showerhead and Croma E 100 Green 3-jet handshower. “In hotel renovations, we see a trend to replace the traditional bathtub with a shower. The Croma Green Showerpipe, with its all-in-one, outside-the-wall design is easy to install and service—things which are always a concern, especially in the hospitality sector. The handshower is not only great for guest bathing, but also ideal from a housekeeping perspective.” —Foreman Arden Rodgers, TVS Design, Atlanta
A neoclassical museum in the Netherlands gets an iconic update and vertical expansion of ceramic and glass.The Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle, the Netherlands, houses an international collection of art and sculpture. Its venerable neoclassical edifice symbolizes the city’s rise from its Medieval foundations into the 19th century period of enlightenment. Designed in 1840 by Eduard Louis de Coninck, the building reflects the dissolution of feudalism and a dynamic, forward-thinking perspective on the future. Now, a recent expansion of the museum has shown that the city has not stopped evolving, but is in fact moving quite steadily into the 21st century. The elliptical, organically formed addition, designed by Bierman Henket Architecten, perches atop the 19th century structure, its textured ceramic facade evincing a progressive aesthetic hitherto unknown to this sleepy Dutch town. When deciding where to locate the expansion, the client was wary about disrupting the building’s classical symmetry. Besides which, the structure’s foundation was too old to withstand much tampering, and the site itself was quite constrained. As a result, the team opted to place the new space atop the existing building, housing it in an elliptical volume that would communicate its modernity without competing with the original design. “Normally in this country, it takes about eight to 10 years for approval on this kind of project, but this took only two-and-a-half years,” said Hubert-Jan Henket, founder of Bierman Henket Architecten and project architect on the museum. “In a Medieval city where everything is restricted and protected, it was liked because it changes the scope of the city and presents Zwolle as a modern city.” The elliptical addition nearly doubles the museum’s square footage with a newly reinforced structural system. A traditional and rectilinear structural steel system comprises eight vertical structural columns that thread through the existing building from new footings, and connect to a series of steel trusses that distribute the addition’s weight. The elliptical form is framed in treated soft timber with a plywood shell, insulated and sealed with a black EPDM. The shell is clad with custom designed, three-dimensional glazed ceramic tiles. The tiles feature four different ramped surface configurations that direct water off the structure and reduce streaking from polluted rain. Each angled tile is installed so that gravity pulls water off the surface, rather than settling in the crevices between the tile and the EPDM. To develop the tiles, the architects worked with Royal Tichelaar Makkum, Holland’s oldest ceramic company (it introduced blue-glazed earthenware from China to Europe in the 1700s). It took 26,000 8-inch and 29,000 4-inch square tiles to fully cover the dome’s oblong surface. Since the surface area is irregular, the designers produced 4,000 small filler pieces of ceramic that conceal the darkly colored EPDM below the gaps. The proprietary blue-white ombre glaze on the tiles was designed to resemble a cloud in the sky. “From summer to winter, and from morning to night, the sun’s reflection off the tiles is always different,” Henket explained. Although natural lighting in museums can damage certain artifacts, the clients insisted on a large window. To minimize the sun’s direct effects, the window is located on the northern side of the addition and only admits indirect light. Since solar heat gain was not an issue at the city’s northern latitude, the window is made from laminated tempered glass units that reflect enough incoming light without producing glare. Coincidently, the northerly positioning of the window also affords a stellar view of the Medieval section of the city, creating a direct visual link between this 21st century structure and the dark past from which it arose.
Despite the economic freeze gripping much of Italy, more than 100,000 attendees—50 percent of whom came from outside the country—converged on Bologna for the 2013 edition of Cersaie, the world's largest ceramic tile fair. In addition to daily educational sessions and a keynote from Pritzker Prize winner Rafael Moneo, 900 product exhibitors filled the halls with the newest iterations of stone and tile looks on porcelain and ceramic. Textile-influenced surfaces were particularly prevalent, as were recreations of hand-crafted, custom-made tiles thanks to more affordable production methods. Charme Naturel Cerim Though nearly every company exhibiting at Cersaie 2013 boasted some kind of wood look, Cerim's (above) stood out for its realistic color and graining, and authentically placed embossing. Available in five tones on three differently sized planks, the collection also comes in two finishes for indoor and outdoor flooring applications. Meltin FAP Ceramiche The deeply textured white body wall tile carries movement seamlessly from section to section with a proprietary tone-on-tone grouting system for larger applications like feature walls. A satin finish enhances the curves. Meltin comes in four neutral colorways. Type 32 Lea Cermiche Reminiscent of a traditional herringbone, Type 32 is available in four patterns with cold or warm color accents on four different bases. Its zig-zag pattern can be installed in layouts that enhance its graphic print, or highlight a more traditional wood floor. Patterning is digitally printed on thin, 2-inch-thick long planks that measure 7.8 by 78 inches. Matrix Ceramica Bardelli Matrix was one of several textile-inspired new collections at the fair. Sporting a Chilewich-style weave, the glazed floor tiles measure 20- by 20-inches at approximately a 1/2-inch thickness. Fourteen matte colors play nicely with most wall finishes, and coordinating base trim is also available. Stone Mix Ital Graniti As its name indicates, this collection digitally blends quartzite, slate, travertine, and limestone patterns for a unique stone look across six colorways. Seven rectified and two non-rectified sizes are finished in matte and anti-slip finishes for wall, floor, and outdoor applications. Noor Mirage Noor replicates a unique stone found in the Italian town of Gré, just off the shores of Lake Iséré. From digital scans, Mirage replicated the stone in three shades across nine formats for walls, indoor flooring, raised floors, and outdoor pavers. For added wear, Noor features through-body color and patterns that differ only slightly from the surface pattern. Basic Naxos Bolstering a trend at the show toward customization, the Basic collection of wall tile appears hand textured in the fashion of Japanese raku ceramics but is extruded along a factory line. Available in six colors on a 13- by 38-inch tile, a line of coordinating decorative panels and mosaics is also available. Creative Concrete Imola Ceramica Delicate texture evokes a combination of concrete treatments, all realized simultaneously on a porcelain tile. Rectified formats come in five different sizes, as well as a non rectified 17-inch tile. Five neutral colors are available in a natural or more deeply textured surface finish. Frame Up Refin Following up to its Frame collection with Studio FM Milano is a collection of even larger graphics for tile. For Vanguard Circle and Square, 18th century Emilia majolica tiles receive a Midcentury avant-garde twist in interchangeably large and small patterns. Both patterns come on a 24-inch porcelain format. Unique Collection Novabell Group Smooth texture over solid tones produces a suede-effect on the Unique Collection. Designed to coordinate with bas relief and patterned designs within the collection, 10- by 30-inch tiles can also be combined with trim and mosaic components. Levitas Cerdisa At 40 by 120 inches and only 5.6 mm in thickness, this large format, thin porcelain tile clads outdoor decking, facades, and more with the fortification of a fiberglass sheet. Available in six neutral colorways, the collection can be specified in a natural or lappato finish for interiors, or an anti-slip finish for outdoors. Custom Hexagonal Tiles Tagina Developed for Misericordia di Terranuova Bracciolini in central Italy, Tagina worked with architect Marco Casamonti over a three-month period for a custom facade treatment. The hand-pressed hexagonal tiles will be finished with an ochre glaze that naturally resists fading in the harsh Tuscan sun.
From floor to ceiling, and all planes in between, these interior surfacing solutions are durable and work across a variety of applications. I Frammenti Brix This micro mosaic of 2,304, 5-millimeter-square ceramic blocks on a 12- by 12-inch sheet of fine mesh provides a full range of flexibility, perfect for finishing curved or irregular walls. Available in both glossy and matte treatments, I Frammenti comes in mixed colors of sand, gray, and black; blue, white, and azure; white, gray, and black; white, sand, and black; and blue, gray, and azure. DI-NOC 3M Architectural Markets The color and texture of a naturally unwieldy material can be applied to irregular or gravity-defying surfaces with an 8-millimeter architectural vinyl film from 3M (above). The lightweight material comes in rolls for a smooth application and can be heat-stretched over corners and sharp edges for a monolithic look. It comes in more than 500 patterns and textures, thanks to a combination of digital printing and embossing techniques. Pyne Arborite A bold, graphic faux bois is rendered on high-pressure laminate for Pyne, one of three patterns in the INK series. Designed by Giona Maiarelli, the pattern is a wink to his Italian view of 1960s America, refined by years of graphic work for the likes of Milton Glaser and Harper’s Bazaar. The product comes in 4- by 8-foot panels and is available in inverse combinations of Purple and Orange. Biobased Xorel Carnegie Seven years of research went into reimagining the Xorel line of wall coverings and upholstery fabric—traditionally a petroleum-based product—in sugar cane. The U.S. government grants a bio-based label to any product with at least 25 percent biomaterial, but Xorel is composed of between 60 and 80 percent sugar. Ninety-one colors are available in three existing and three new patterns. SilentMesh GKD Metal Fabrics GKD has developed a ceiling solution from its line of metal fabrics. The multi-layered system features a lightweight aluminum honeycomb core that is stable, sound absorbing, and maintains strong architectural edges and finishing details. While large-format panels are compatible with the drop ceiling framework prevalent in North America, it also comes with a custom T-grid suspension system for clean, flush seams that conceal traditional joints. Deconstructed Patcraft Deconstructed embraces the foundation of carpet. It integrates the backing of either a modular or broadloom format into the face of the floor covering. Monochromatic thread fibers at varying heights are variegated by exposing the matrix pad for pops of color and texture. The product is material efficient, lightweight, and soft. All components are 100 percent recyclable and Cradle-to-Cradle certified. Krion Porcelanosa Aluminum trihydride and highly resistant resins form an antibacterial and durable surfacing material that is highly resistant to UV radiation, fire damage, staining, and extreme environmental exposure. It can be cut similar to wood or marble, scored for dramatic backlighting, and thermoformed for seamless corners and irregular shapes. Warm to the touch, Krion is available in nearly 50 colors and styles, including a white that boasts more than 99.8 percent purity. Maglia Pulp Studio To achieve a smoother surface than traditional woven metal materials with additional sound-blocking capabilities, Pulp Studio developed Maglia, a laminated glass sheet embedded with architectural mesh for interior applications. Low-iron glass highlights metallic details in both annealed and tempered formats while complying with Category I and II of the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Any of Pulp Studio’s meshes are available and custom weaves can also be specified.
More than 900 ceramic and sanitary ware manufacturers from 50 countries exhibited at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta, but three days to take in two exhibit halls and a back-to-back education program only made a dent in the offerings. The following is a cross section of some of the stand-out products displayed on the show floor last week. SoMa Bellavita Tile Bellavita Tile translates San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood-style onto ceramic with SoMa (above), a multi functional unglazed porcelain that can withstand high traffic in commercial applications. The collection comes in Matte or Polished finishes for interiors, as well as Structured for exteriors or wet areas, and six colors are available on 24 by 24-, 12 by 24-, and 12 by 12-inch formats. Three mixed formats, mosiacs and coordinating trims are also available. Archconcept Apavisa Burgeoning technical capabilities facilitate Archconcept, a three dimensional wall tile that can be suitable for exterior facades. As its name suggests, the Quarter Up format is a 35-inch by 5 4/5-inch plank that curves upward one quarter of the way down the plank. The collection comes in a variety of cementitious tones, metallics, and natural porcelain finishes. Hydrotect Crossville An exclusive North American partnership with bathroom fixture manufacturer TOTO brings Japanese technology to the U.S. supply chain with the Hydrotect treatment for tile. The coating, which is applied during a final firing after the tile has been baked and glazed, permanently transfers antimicrobial properties to each piece in the form of a silver, copper, and titanium dioxide treatment. Designed by TOTO's 1,500+ engineers to mimic the way plants harness light for photosynthesis, the finish also boasts hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties. Back2Back Emil Ceramica Noting the tendency of Italian architects to install stone upside-down to dipsplay the uniquely milled textures, Emil Ceramica developed Back2Back. The collection portrays the duality of natural, finished stone on ceramic for endless configurations of both finished and raw surfaces. It is available in three colors on 47- by 24-inch planks, 24- by 12-inch planks, or 24-inch tiles, and in a number of mosaics and custom pieces. Wood Cooperativa Ceramica D'Imola There was no shortage of timber visuals on ceramic at Coverings 2013, but Wood stood out for its 3D wall application that layers ceramic planks on one tile for an authentic clapboard effect. And thanks to its porcelain construction, it is suitable for both interior and exterior applications. D'Imola was also highlighted at Coverings as the first Italian manufacturer to achieve Green Squared certification, a multi-attribute green certification system introduced by the Tile Council of North America last year. Techlam Levantina With the advent of large format tiles, Techlam's flexibility and durability was on display in a new colorway, Arabescato. While the product boasts oversized dimensions of 39- by 118-inch sheets, Techlam measures only 3mm (.12 inches) in thickness. Also available in a 5mm thickness, it can be installed as a ventilated facade cladding system. Quarz Metropol Quarz offers the visuals of natural quartzite without the restrictions that material. More than 20 designs across three colors feature high shade variation. Natural and Lappato finishes are applied to 39- by 20-, 12- by 24-, and 23-inch tiles, while Antislip finishes come on 24-inch and 12- by 24-inch tiles. Frame Refin Extensive investments in production methods and a collaboration with Italian graphic design firm Studio FM Milano resulted in the Frame collection that reimagines traditional tile patterns through modern manufacturing. Carpet, a standout pattern within the collection, interprets the hydraulic/encaustic trend across layers of monochromatic graphic patterning for a fresh take on a popular 20th century European tile look. Flexible Architecture Sant'Agostino Phillippe Starck grows his product empire with a new collection of floor and wall tiles for Sant'Agostino. The collection features unique joint play by a slightly offset bezel above rectified edges. The absence of traditionally grouted joints is further exaggerated by both matte and high gloss finishes on two surface textures; one rocky, one wavy. Eight colors ranging from traditional to trendy further grow design possibilities. Plane StonePeak Ceramic One of the largest products at Coverings was Plane, a 5- by 10-foot porcelain panel. Its large format makes it ideal for seamless installation on walls, floors, countertops, and bath furniture. It is available in nine colors, including stone and metallic looks. Plane was also featured in the Coverings Installation Design Showcase Hotel Lobby vignette.