At Coverings Connected in April 2020, we virtually honored six outstanding Special Recognition projects that demonstrated spectacular craftsmanship and creativity in the use of tile & stone. This week we’re putting the spotlight on the three projects who were recognized for Artistic Installation, International and Innovation in Tile.
Special Recognition: Artistic Installation
Hand–Cut Octopus Mosaic
The homeowner came to Tierra Tile with the idea of creating an octopus mosaic for his master shower. This was a home that he had recently bought and was looking at doing a full bathroom remodel. He wanted an octopus that looked realistic and not whimsical or cartoonish and wanted it to appear to be masculine but not sinister.
Another stipulation he asked for was to not use bright, vibrant colors. This was a little bit of a challenge finding the right color combination. Tierra Tile chose a green marble for the predominant color of the body and a slate for the tentacles. After blowing the image up to life size, they realized that it needed more lines and another color to give the body some movement. They chose a leather textured black porcelain to create the look they were after.
The porcelain proved to be a bit of a challenge to cut as they were all long and shiny squiggly pieces. The challenge was not only the cutting but also the labeling of each individual piece. Tierra Tile labels the backs of all mosaic pieces with a code of numbers and letters to make it easier for the instillation process. The back of this particular porcelain was pretty rough in texture and made it challenging to clearly label.
Throughout the fabrication process they were thinking that a glow in the dark grout would really make this piece come alive. Tierra Tile had to mask off all of the field tile grout lines, so as to not contaminate them with the glow grout. They also chose to set the shower pan pebbles after they had grouted the mosaic because they knew that if any glow was to touch the pebbles it would show when the lights go out. The pebbles were all locally scavenged off the beach in town.
Special Recognition: International
Museo de las Colecciones Naturales
This project came to be in order to reform, refurbish and make this building, one of the oldest at the University of Alicante, adequate to house and show their natural exhibits. The collection is composed of a priceless classification of wildlife which the university studied and protected during decades but has never shown.
Because the collections required certain technical and atmospheric conditions, it was imperative that the spaces complied with the size, technical qualities, and required norms in order to protect the exhibits.
Inside they have developed a tri-dimensional eucalyptus wood panel system attached to the interior walls and ceilings. This interior “skin” tends to generate a weightless, calm and warm atmosphere as well as clean and light. The panels are suspended so as not to touch the white marble floors and the artificial lighting dissolves and divides the space. A reinterpretation and an actualization of the atmospheres usually found in classical museums, diagonally crossed by a weightless catwalk that alters the equilibrium of the space and its symmetry. This interior space has two appendages: The first is the glossy ceramic in the main hall that greets visitors and leads them on to the exhibit. And the second is a great window in the west hub that allows viewing from the exterior walkway, which is one of the main thoroughfares of the university.
The rationalist architecture-style building houses the technical exhibits. Therefore, the technology labs are key players, strengthened by reprogrammable, solid and bright interiors, and an exterior that is accented by a great ceramic lattice installation, which gives volume to the structure.
The lattice wall was done using glossy green and white ceramic square tiles measuring 20×20 (8”x8”). It is made of a mounted lattice panel anchored to a metal substructure, generating a second skin that surrounds the existing building.
Special Recognition: Innovation in Tile
12×12 Porcelain Tile as Roof Tile
Ironstone Strong, Ltd.
The project consists of approximately 9,000 square feet of porcelain tile installed on a golf clubhouse, steep slope roof in an exclusive, highly restricted residential development.
Originally wood shakes, the owners of the club house were looking to replace the roof with a durable, beautiful roof that would last a lifetime. Porcelain tile was an easy choice. The goal was to use common tile with no holes punched or drilled in the tile. The designer chose genuine slate as the inspiration for the roof. High definition scans were made from genuine roofing slates and reproduced on common 12x12x3/8-inch porcelain tiles. The color of the tile was a traditional grey/green slate.
A major challenge was installing tile in an overlapped fashion without the use of nails through the tiles. A patented hanger system was used which accepted traditional straight edge tiles. The hanger system was installed quickly and easily using pneumatic nail guns. Another challenge was reducing the weight so the roof could be installed on a traditionally framed structure.
The unique hanger system allows the tiles to be installed in a method that eliminates the large overlap typically found on a traditional slate roof. This resulted in a fifty percent weight reduction over a traditional slate or tile roof, without sacrificing the thickness of the tiles. The hanger system allows tiles to be removed and replaced in seconds. A major benefit of the project was demonstrating a new use for common porcelain tile. When the roof project was completed, it was impossible to discern the difference between the moderately priced, porcelain tile roof and the expensive, genuine slate roofs seen throughout the community.
Do you have a recently completed project that features innovative design and installation of tile & stone? Consider entering it to the 2021 CID Awards – the submission portal will open this fall.