Ceramics of Italy Exhibit Design Winners Announced!
October 19, 2011
Just over two months ago, we launched a competition to design a trade show pavilion for Ceramics of Italy. The design was to fill a 3,000sf rectangle, incorporating a café, information desk, reception desk and storage area, all while showcasing the creative possibilities of Italy’s ceramic tiles. Furthermore, CI asked that the pavilion be reusable in part or in full for future exhibits, in keeping with the industry’s commitment to sustainability.
We received a flurry of entrants, each team eager to show off innovative uses of tile and join the ranks of Aldo Rossi, Bernard Tschumi and other architects tapped to outfit Ceramics of Italy with a standout exhibit. Well, after two weeks of careful deliberation, the wait is finally over. Here are the results!
Congratulations to New York’s e+i studio for their winning design!
Piazza Ceramica is a simple, bold design that will lift the corners of the 3,000sf rectangle, providing two gently sloping, stepped seating areas reminiscent of Italian piazzas. These tiled steps, colored in a visually striking red gradient, arch over the required reception and café areas, providing an elegantly concealed alcove for the necessary programs within the pavilion.
In addition, the pavilion can be lifted and rearranged in multiple ways, forming a total of five different piazza-like configurations. For the Coverings trade show in Florida, the pavilion will debut in the “introvert” position, with the two sloping surfaces facing each other to create a flow of open space between them. Round café tables and chairs provide an inviting dining area for show-goers to enjoy lunch whilst admiring the finesse of Italian ceramics.
The runner-up design came from Hong Kong-based architect Tony Leung. Leung’s Ceramics Carpet imagines the exhibit as a continuous sweeping expanse of white tiles with five “folding pockets” to accommodate the required program areas. The pockets offer intimate spaces, tiled in red and green and enwrapped in ways that evoke the sumptuousness of places like Casa Lever. As in the winning design, the ceramic tiles in this proposal are used to create a continuous, fabric-like form molded to ensconce visitors.
P(s)ar Architects were also runners-up, with their beautiful aggregated tile concept:
“Three volumes dynamically shape the surface area allocated to Ceramics of Italy forming zones for public and private conversations, savoring the exquisiteness of Italian food, gather information, or simply admire the eloquence of a variety of ceramic tiles showcased in a manner inspired by the 1952 designed House of Cards by Charles and Ray Eames.”
“The house of tiles is also intersected by the two volumes enclosing the support program [information desk/storage and restaurant/café prep area], which are made of red translucent plastics. If the intersection is just visual rather than factual, the red walls within the cavity of the house of tile add for further experiences as suddenly the shade of white of the ceramic tiles are seen through a colored lens. The tactile experience is here left to make room for an abstract reading of the house of tile, one that quietly expresses the colorful creativity of Italian design.”
Finalists Paul Vu and Laura Lehman imagined a series of deforming strips:
“Each ribbon will showcase one of several slip-resistant tiles, and can rise to become playful seating elements or clearly define spaces like the cafe and information desk. In this configuration both the restaurant and information desk share the enclosure to the left so as to efficiently minimize the presence of their service and storage spaces. The inclusion of a semi-private space on the opposite corner offers respite as well as compositional balance.”
“To further showcase CI’s range of products, the ribbons that playfully lift from the floor will showcase different tiles under each of the built-in seating and on the interior walls of the restaurant and information booth.”
While Design Play’s finalist entry, “Pixel Cloud,” explored the oft-ignored ceiling plane:
“The cloud orients a subject in the labyrinthine maze. It establishes an aerial focus that allows visibility and orientation from a great distance. Closing in, the cloud disintegrates into a construction of discrete units that sweeps above; an orchestrated flow of vivid pixels. Technologically, the cloud demonstrates a radical re-imagining of each ceramic tile, as a discrete pixel towards the formation of a complex non-uniform surface.In doing so, the cloud establishes a spectacle of juxtaposition between its smooth geometries of‘flow’ and its cubic labyrinthine surroundings.”
Thanks to all of the entrants – it was incredible crop of entries, and all jury members remarked upon the difficulty of narrowing down the finalists.