Tired of a Pottery Barn-esque aesthetic that’s dripping in oatmeal beige? Or maybe you’re stuck in a sea of white? Whatever your color story woes, we bring you these new tiles that will spice up any humdrum kitchen or bathroom. You’re welcome. Rainbow Opale Antolini Antolini’s artisans hand-carved mother-of-pearl into small, large, and 3-D tiles. The shiny, iridescent quality of the material creates a wave of rainbow light reflections, conjuring an otherworldly quality to the space they adorn. Artwork Florim Terrazzo is one of those materials that never goes out of style. This collection is described as “halfway between battuto Veneziano tiles and the Memphis Style patterns of 1980s Milan.” The collection comprises 19 colors with varying particle sizes. Cromatica CEDIT (Ceramiche d'Italia) Inspired by colors Ettore Sottsass was famous for, Amsterdam-based Formafantasma designed a vibrant collection of tiles for CEDIT (Ceramiche d’Italia). When paired together, the three colors can be arranged to create an ombre effect on any surface. The idea was coined after the designers, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresi, became interested in how color variation was inevitable before contemporary manufacturing technologies and materials. Solid Diamond Clé As the name suggests, these cement tiles are strong but not quite diamond-solid. That being said, the collection is suitable for both indoors and out. Made-to-order in 12 weeks, the tiles are available in over 20 shades. Dual Glaze Heath Ceramics In what Heath owners Robin Petrovic and Cathy Bailey call a “human scale” process, the cement tile collection is made by hands and machines together. The California-based manufacturer envisioned this dual-toned motif to create the illusion of varying tile dimensions. It is offered in five sizes and eight color combinations.
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With an extensive archaeological collection spanning from the 7th century BC through the Middle Ages, the Musée de la Romanité, located in Nîmes, France (opening summer 2018), presents artifacts from the "romanization" of local society both before and after the city’s Roman occupation. The project, which has evolved into one of the largest contemporary architectural projects in France, is the result of an international competition dating back to 2011. Designed by Paris-based Elizabeth de Portzamparc, the resulting museum establishes a dialogue with an adjacent 2000-year-old amphitheater through a veil-like glass tile screen.
The building aims to produce this dialogue by being different instead of similar. Seen from above, the museum is organized in a square plan that contrasts with the amphitheater’s curvilinear form. The materiality of the adjacent Roman stone structure and what Elizabeth de Portzamparc’s office calls the “magnificence of vertical arches passed down to us through the centuries,” is answered with a decidedly light assembly of digitally-crafted steel and glass. The result is an undulating, textile-like drapery that seemingly floats over the archaeological context. The Musée de la Romanité’s facade is composed of over 7,000 structural glass units measuring approximately 5-feet-long by 8-inches-tall by less than three-eighths-of-an-inch thick. The glass “strips” were screen printed with 8-inch opaque white squares on their exterior face to maximize legibility and solar shading performance. Each strip was installed individually on site over a delicate framework composed of primary vertical members and secondary horizontal girts. This framework establishes specific undulations based on the curvature of the facade. The mechanical attachments were specially coated to blend in with adjacent finishes to produce an additional level of seamlessness. The lightness of the system is all the more impressive given the site’s location within a seismic zone that extends through parts of southern France. The unique assembly of glass strips, as opposed to a custom molded glass system or more traditional curtain wall, arose from a desire to achieve a visually thin structure and required the design team to manage the weight of the glass assembly. “We finally chose the strip system so as to obtain a background structure as light and less visible as possible, allowing an important economy of raw materials and construction costs in comparison to a molded glass facade, which requires very expensive and heavy bearing structures,” said de Portzamparc. “The result is very lively for its subtlety and its reflections that extend the colors of the surrounding buildings and the sky that changes every hour of the day.” The architects developed the project through a 1:100 scale study model that was based on two parametric aspects: geometry and graphic design. Several tests at full scale also occurred in parallel to the model to study the detailing of key attachment points. The team worked through iterations of translating a fluid digital surface into a contoured assembly of horizontal strips, working to manage gaps between the strips so as to achieve a continuity of the surface through smaller building modules.
Updated neutral tones, fresh takes on metallics, and innovative textures make it easier to achieve a distinctive look than ever before. Full Circle: Kathali 3form The Kathali line features wood shavings from rebuilding efforts after the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal and celebrates the brand’s collaborations with Nepalese craftspeople and business leaders. Local artisans paint the raw material a variety of gray, brown, and tan hues before the wood pieces are suspended in the brand’s Varia Ecoresin or glass. Levels Kiln Cast Glass BermanGlass The latest collection of 12 designs from Forms+Surfaces combines BermanGlass’s casting technologies with the lamination abilities of VividGlass. The line combines four colored, graphic, or image layers with three varieties of textured glass for a wide range of visual effects. Luminescence Marazzi USA The Luminescence collection of glass rectangle mosaics from Marazzi adds depth in the kitchen and bath by creating the look of a beveled surface. The three-by-four-inch tiles are made of artisanal poured glass and available in eight pearlescent colors. Idyllic Blends Daltile Available in a two-inch hexagon or random linear mosaic mesh-mounted tiles, the geometrically inspired Idyllic Blends collection brings together warm and cool tones. The decorative accent for walls and backsplashes can be specified in one of four nature-inspired color families. Matelac T AGC Two of AGC’s popular back-painted glasses are now available in temperable varieties, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Available in a range of ten colors, the satin Matelac T (shown) and the glossy Lacobel T are both Cradle to Cradle Bronze certified. Transcend by Suzanne Tick Skyline Design Textile designer Suzanne Tick turns her attention to glass with the new Transcend line for Skyline Design. Inspired by the textures and colors of concrete, worn metal, and marble, the line comes in six etched and printed patterns that can be combined by overlapping or fading the designs, and in transparent, translucent, and opaque options.
Ceramic or porcelain, mosaic or large-format, rectified or squared, tile is a clay canvas for not only original expressions, but also for convincing imitations of natural materials. Here’s a sampling of new products. Fossil Design Tale Studio / DTS Fossil is a hand-drawn illustration, inspired by prehistoric imprints of plants and animals on rock formations. The collection was designed by Kasia Zareba, the winner of the manufacturer’s Create Your Own Tile competition. The 24-inch by 24-inch porcelain tiles are available in beige, brown, and grey and five patterns. Tierras Collections Mutina Tierras is a visually rich collection of tiles designed by Patricia Urquiola with a definite nod to nature and ceramics' humble beginnings. Inspired by the look and feel of terra cotta and lava, Tierras comes in two complementary lines. One is the Industrial line (shown) of unglazed homogenous porcelain stoneware in six colors, two geometric decors, and a range of formats and transversal cuts, allowing for the creation of irregular forms and unique compositions for floors and walls. The other family, called Artisanal, is a series of three-dimensional surfaces made of extruded natural terra cotta. Roof tiles, bricks, hollow bricks, and partition walls are metaphorically undone and unstructured, only to be reinterpreted in a new way. In six earth tones, ranging from browns to blues. Freestone Ceramiche Astor In nature, stone is a living, changing organism. Over time, it accumulates layers of sediment, which may be variegated or homogeneous in color and composition. This collection of porcelain color-through tile is rated for indoor and outdoor use. In three colorways and ten sizes, including bullnose trim and mosaic. Rorschach Collection Clé Clé introduces the Rorschach Tile Collection, designed by Paul Simmons and Alistair McAuley of Glasgow-based Timorous Beasties. The Rorschach Tile Collection is composed of five designs that are hand-lithographed on 12-inch by 12-inch limestone or thassos marble tiles. Inspired by traditional 9th-century damask motifs, Timorous Beasties have integrated the classic pattern with Rorschach conceptual imagery. The combination of a familiar medieval motif and a modern blotch-pattern believed to unlock the subconscious has resulted in subversive floral abstractions. Simmons and McAuley use hand drawing, marbling, and puddles of ink to achieve their new damask imagery. "These tile patterns are a reversal of the expected," says Simmons. "Blotches, splats, and drips are normally regarded as disordered accidents. By re-contextualizing the damask and using it as a vehicle to carry Rorschach-esque symmetrical imagery, we have created beauty out of something conventionally repellent." Soula Azuliber A compelling mix of concrete and encaustic looks in a high performance porcelain tile, the Soula line has aesthetic applications in both contemporary and historical settings. Edge Fireclay Tile Available in a dynamic color range that invites creativity, the Edge collection offers three modular options, including the largest handmade tile on the market: 3-inches by 9-inches, 3-inches by 18-inches, and 6-inches by 18-inches. Precisely cut, the tiles are installed with minimal, 1/8-inch grout spacings, resulting in a smooth, continuous polished look for walls, floors, or countertops. Rated for indoor and outdoor use, Edge is made of more than 70 percent recycled content: Clay, glass, waste porcelain, spent abrasives, and granite dust. A gradient color palette of twelve matte finishes is inspired by the hues found in natural stones and minerals.