Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition winners selected

Home News Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition winners selected

Orlando, Fla.—Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency selected the winners of the 2021 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition here on Wednesday, July 7 at Coverings 2021 during the Ceramics of Italy press conference. The competition annually honors North American architects and designers who use Italian ceramic and porcelain tile in creative ways.

The international jury reviewed a number of submissions from designers, architects and students across the U.S. and Canada, ultimately picking seven winners and two honorable mentions. The projects span four built categories—commercial, institutional, multifamily residential and single-family residential—and one student category.

Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency said they will also celebrate the winners during an awards ceremony in Bologna, Italy at Cersaie, taking place in September 2021. To make up for the cancellation of Cersaie last year, winners from the 2020 Tile Competition will also be honored during this time, according to show organizers.

The winners are as follows:

Multifamily Residential

tile competition

Firm: Rockwell Group

Project: The Waterline Club

Location: New York, N.Y.

Tile Manufacturers: Florim

Distributor: Lazer Marble and Granite Corp

Contractor: Garcia Marble and Tile

Rockwell Group designed The Waterline Club: a comprehensive amenity space for residents that connects the Waterline Square’s three main buildings. With durability and elegance in mind, the designers selected large format marble- and stone-look porcelain tiles by Florim to cover the walls and floors throughout the lobby and peripheral lounge areas. Nonslip quartzite-effect tiles surround and line the inside of the pool and porcelain tiles enhance the walls. Lastly, a dark marble-effect porcelain slab from the brand’s Florim Stone range composes the bar top and backsplash area in the space’s party room.

Single-family Residential

tile competition

Firm: Taller Ken

Project: Casa Las Vistas

Location: Escazu, San José Province, Costa Rica

Tile Manufacturers: Italgraniti; Ornamenta

Distributor: Kamalio

Contractor: AIE Construction

Casa Las Vistas’ material palette, floor-to-ceiling windows and curated furnishings are designed to draw attention to the lush natural surroundings. The designers at Taller Ken said they used porcelain tile throughout the space, which demanded functional, low-maintenance materials. Nordic stone-look porcelain floor tiles from Italgraniti ground the main living area and compliment the natural wood and concrete in the room. Dark, metal-effect ceramic wall tiles aim to be a contrasting backdrop for the skylit indoor garden. In the kitchen, Ornamenta’s geometric wall tiles decorate the backsplash, pairing with tiles by Italgraniti on the floor. The minimalist palette continues upstairs with marble-look Ornamenta tiles covering the master bathroom floors and walls, and tiles from a metal-inspired Italgraniti collection lining the outdoor shower.

Single-family Residential Honorable Mention

tile competition

Firm: Mojo Stumer Associates

Project: Miami Penthouse

Location: Miami Beach, Fla.

Tile Manufacturers: Florim: Ceramiche d’Italia (CEDIT)

Distributor: Florim

Contractor: Dutchmaster Tile and Marble

Installation Products: Mapei

To renovate the penthouse, the design team at Mojo Stumer Associates required a strong grounding element that would emphasize the height and significance of the space, support the open plan living concept and highlight views of the Atlantic Ocean while satisfying the client’s modern, industrial design style. With each goal in mind, the designers selected large format, concrete-effect tiles by Florim’s Cedit brand to clad the walls.


tile competition

Firm: Post Brothers

Project: The Cove at The Piazza

Location: Philadelphia, Pa.

Tile Manufacturer: Mirage

Distributor: Nemo Tile; Mirage, Mega Supply Pro

Contractor: Philly Tile Inc., DA&W Construction, Poolside Plaster, BN Painting LLC.

Installation Products: Mapei

Post Brothers, a local residential development company, constructed The Piazza’s outdoor pool called The Cove. Angular structures clad with porcelain tile panels from Mirage define the perimeter of the pool deck, which is covered with matching tiles from the same collection. The coordination of the pavers with the tile-clad structures created continuity throughout the entire space, allowing the designers to achieve the desired monolithic look. Mirage tiles are designed to offer both safety and durability in the outdoor environment.

Commercial Honorable Mention

tile competition

Firm: Bells + Whistles

Project: Marrow Fine

Location: Newport Beach, Calif.

Tile Manufacturer: Ceramica Fioranese

Distributor: Highstyle Stone & Tile

Contractor: ECLR Flooring

To bring a neutral, blush-toned palette to Marrow Fine’s second jewelry shop in Newport Beach, Calif., the designers at Bells + Whistles chose Ceramica Fioranese’s chunky, terrazzo-look porcelain floor tiles. The 36 x 36 format was easier to install and more affordable than real Italian terrazzo. The tiles’ palladiana-esque pattern, paired with Venetian plaster walls and arched details, aim to evoke images of Northern Italy. 


Firm: Gow Hastings Architects

Project 1: Fleming College A-Wing, Sutherland Campus

tile competition

Location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Tile Manufacturers: Panaria Ceramica; CE.SI. Ceramica

Distributor: Stone Tile International Inc.

Contractor: Rytiff Flooring

Installation Products: Mapei

Gow Hastings Architects revitalized the 76,000 square-foot A-Wing on Fleming College’s Sutherland campus. The goal was to transform how students would experience and engage with the institution by implementing contemporary design solutions. Ceramic floor tiles by Panaria Ceramica served as a wayfinding element to demarcate zones throughout the building. A field of bright yellow wall tiles by CE.SI. Ceramica brings an uplifting design element to the space, which is located within the building’s floor plan and features limited natural lighting. Aside from the aesthetic function, the Italian ceramic tiles aim to provide a durable, hygienic material for the high-traffic building.

Project 2: Niagara College Welland Student Commons

tile competition

Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada

Tile Manufacturers: Ergon; Gambini Tile on Time

Distributor: Stone Tile International Inc.; Centura Tile

Contractor: Adler’s Main Tile

Installation Products: Mapei

The Niagara College Welland Student Commons is a two-story, 35,000 square-foot hub for the student community. Gow Hastings Architects developed a program that would aim to reinvigorate the campus’ visual identity. Part of the plan involved the application of blue supergraphics on the walls, which aim to add branding and help students find their way. The designers also created a linear installation using stone-look floor tiles by Ergon in two different colorways to help direct traffic throughout the busy space and demarcate different activity zones including the corridor, event space, food hall and seating areas. The tiles from Ergon and Gambini Tile on Time are also designed to provide long-lasting durability.


Entrants: Fangming Cai and Yang Pei

University: Pratt Institute

Declared Major: Interior Design

Project: Co-Living: Life and Art.

Tiles Used: ABK; AVA Ceramica

Co-Living: Life and Art supports unplanned collisions and spontaneous art sharing between residents. Pratt students Fangming Cai and Yang Pei selected various ceramic tiles by ABK and AVA Ceramica for the main flooring, walls and ceilings throughout the home as well as the kitchen cabinets and countertops. The use of different colors and finishes aim to establish boundaries between private and shared spaces and to reflect the amount of natural light in each room. Darker colored tiles were used prominently in the private spaces where natural light is more abundant and lighter colored tiles help to brighten the central shared spaces, which are more reliant on artificial light.


Entrants: Sarah Gbobo and Emily Guan

University: Pratt Institute

Declared Major: Architecture

Project: G2 Yoga and Bath

Tiles Used: Roberto Cavalli; Gardenia Orchidea; La Fabbrica

Pratt students Sarah Gbobo and Emily Guan designed G2 Yoga and Bath as a quiet refuge with thermal baths, a sauna, yoga spaces and meditation rooms for guests to boost wellness and reduce stress. The structure dialogues with the natural landscape and marble-look slabs by Gardenia Orchidea aim to welcome guests into the reception area and create an aura of warmth in the sauna and indoor patio. Lighter stone-look tiles from Gardenia Orchidea and wood-effect tiles from La Fabbrica add refreshing elements in the outdoor patio, lobby and yoga spaces. Marble-look slabs from La Fabbrica construct the accent furniture and window frames in the lobby and decorative wall tiles from Roberto Cavalli can be found in the bathing pools. 

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