The Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition showcases the work of North American architects and designers who use Italian tile in their projects. With steep competition in each of the three categories: Residential, Commercial/Hospitality and Institutional, the international jury had a decidedly difficult task.



The Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition showcases the work of North American architects and designers who use Italian tile in their projects. Now in its 18th year, the annual awards program sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica, the Association of Italian Ceramics and the Italian Trade Commission, continues to yield great results. With steep competition in each of the three categories: Residential, Commercial/Hospitality and Institutional, the international jury had a decidedly difficult task.

After narrowing down the finalists, they selected a winner and an honorable mention in each category based on the project’s functionality, visual appeal, original use of tile and overall design. The winning installations demonstrate how the A&D community is “thinking big” by using larger, slimmer formats and choosing tiles with recycled content and environmental certifications.

The recipients were presented at The Ceramic Tiles of Italy Press Conference on Tuesday, March 15. The winning architects received $4,000 and a five-day trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie 2011. Ceramic Tiles of Italy will award an additional $1,000 to be shared by the winning contractor/distributor team.

Commercial/Hospitality Winner: RMW Architecture & Interiors
Project:Brocade Communications
Tile Manufacturer:Caesar Ceramica
Contractor:DeAnza Tile and Reputable Tile
Distributor:SpecCeramics, Inc.

With a mission to create work environments that encourage productivity and harmony within a client’s culture, RMW Architecture & Interiors was the perfect choice for the construction of the award winning Brocade Communication’s new campus. The new 560,000 sq ft. space gave Brocade Communications an opportunity to enhance their mission and values as a company and focus on growth. Being a business of face-to-face communication, the workspace needed to be attractive and innovative while encouraging teamwork and community. RMW designed a layout consisting of universal workspaces, presentation theaters and outdoor cafes. Receiving the ISO 14001 rating for their commitment to environmental sustainability,Caesar Ceramica’s“More” collection was chosen as the flooring in the lobby of all three buildings, inside the elevators and throughout the public spaces on each of the 18 floors. Throughout the Bladerunner Café, the floor and accent walls are tiled in “More” to provide an attractive, easily maintained surface in heavily trafficked areas.

The Fairview Mall, designed by GHA Design Studios, receives anHonorable Mentionfor this year’s commercial category. The renovation included re-tiling the interior public areas with large formatFloor Gres“Stone Tech” tile on the corridors, columns, food court floor, washroom floor, entrances and interior walls.MAPEIwas used in the installation of the Floor Gres tiles.

Residential Winner: Belzberg Architects
Project:Kona Residence
Tile Manufacturer:Floor Gres
Contractor:DEM Construction
Distributor:Stone Source


For the stunning Kona Residence in Kona, Hawaii, Belzberg Architects found inspiration in the nature that surrounded the property. Located between lava flows and overlooking the predominate views of the site, the placement of the home is an integral part of the project. With the Hawaiian volcanic mountains to the east and the ocean’s horizon on the west, the natural elements helped to shape the geometric center of the home. Built in a series of pods throughout the property, the layout features two sleeping rooms with common areas, a media room, master suite and a main living area. A gallery corridor connects the two wings and becomes a focal feature for the home. Influenced by Hawaiian tradition, the entryway incorporates the local basket weaving culture in a large sculptural overlay that represents the traditional arrival gift of the island.Floor Gresruns throughout the home’s floors, giving a fluid look throughout the main living areas and onto the much used outdoor space.

2006 Residential Design Competition winner, Hufft Projects, wins this year’sHonorable Mentionfor the Curved House residence. Matthew Hufft, architect and interior designer of the project, choseEmilamerica’s“Mikado” tile in Ebano as the main house and cabana flooring because of it’s high recycled content (40%) and to create a consistency that gave the illusion of a large space. Hufft Projects usedMAPEIfor the installation of the Italian tiles.

Institutional Winner: SNC Lavalin, Inc.
Project: Canada Line - Rapid Transit
Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana SPA
Contractor: SNC Lavalin, Inc.
Distributor: Stone Tile
Installation Materials: MAPEI

Institutional winner SNC Lavalin, Inc. designed The Canada Line Subway featuring 16 new stations from the Vancouver International Airport to Olympic Village. Fifteen out of the 16 stations feature Casalgrande Padana’s “Marte” collection, which were used on the floors, walls, platforms and all public access areas for their long lasting durability. Each station was designed with a slightly different appearance to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood. From the Marte series, various colors were chosen for each station’s design: Thassos, Botticino, Azul Bahia, Azul Macauba, Nero Acapulco, Raggio di Luna,Grigio Maggia, Grigio Egeo, and Grigio Marostica in a matt, satin and bushammered finish.

Fourgeron Architecture was awarded Honorable Mention for their work on the Ingleside Branch Public Library in San Francisco, CA. Casa Dolce Casa tiles were chosen for the exterior of the building because of their durability and simple maintenance in a neutral gres silver color to blend in with the surrounding buildings. The contractor chose MAPEI installation products for their strength on both indoor and outdoor projects.


Institutional - Canada Line - SNC Lavalin, Inc.



Residential - Kona Residence - Belzberg Architects



Commercial- Brocade Communications - RMW Architecture & Interiors