This week, our editor-in-chief, Alexi Drosu, is visiting the annual Coverings show in Las Vegas, taking the measure of new trends in tile and stone. And, in our new March/April 2014 issue, our Workbook column takes a look at some incredibly creative and diverse projects featuring surprising uses of tile. Today, we're sharing one of those, which just so happens to have taken home a CID Award at the show last night. It's an amazing, dimensional installation in Spain by Pol Femenias Arquitectes featuring Ceràmica Cumella tiles—and will have you rethinking the material's possibilities.
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Located in a former industrial area, the demolition of one of the last remaining textile factories created a void in the community, exposing the rear courtyards of housing blocks. The solution was to divide the existing space into smaller individual corners that “make visitors feel comfortable and at home,” says architect Pol Femenias.
The Barcelona-based designer came up with an innovative solution to capture the district’s industrial heritage—using small ceramic pieces to create a latticework pattern—while addressing the privacy needs of the neighborhood. This concept earned the project a Tile of Spain Award for Architecture and Interior Design. “We opted for a simple geometry using the fewest possible number of pieces that would enable us to cover a 150 meter façade and meet the demands of the existing enclosures,” he says.
The project required the designer to address different levels of opacity, as well as varying heights and staggered grading across the park. The final geometry, made up of triple-glazed ceramic pieces in eight tones produced by Ceràmica Cumella followed a herringbone layout, which allowed the designer to “create a natural, almost organic parapet that traced the changing heights of the enclosure in an unbroken line.”