16.04.2024 -

Once again this year, the CRU competition was created with the aim of selecting urban planning proposals that regenerate urban spaces with ceramic material as the protagonist. The Castellón Provincial Council, together with the Spanish Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers (ASCER) join forces to promote this call.

Moreover, in this edition, it has the contribution of the renowned trajectory of Eva Ávarez as President of the competition, as well as the architect Pau Batalla as president of the jury. The deadline for submitting proposals is 26 May for both the ordinary call and the one aimed at CRU(E) students.

With a total of 44 participating municipalities in the province of Castellón, the competition is presented as a firm commitment to improving degraded areas. Their transformation into more habitable, accessible and environmentally friendly public spaces aims to improve the quality of people’s lives. After all, it is the inhabitants who should be at the centre of the projects.

Jacques Kaufmann, MUR / MUR’S

25.03.2024 -

The renowned ceramist Jacques Kaufmann presented his exhibition “Mur/Murs” in the gardens of the Ariana Museum in Geneva, Switzerland. From May 17 to November 10, 2019, visitors could immerse themselves in this fascinating display of ceramic architecture. Kaufmann, known for his powerful architectural works, explored the theme of the wall as a multifaceted symbol of connection and exclusion in our society.

The exhibition was divided into two distinct phases. The first, starting on May 17, featured five monumental and ephemeral installations on the museum grounds, primarily built with bricks. These creations challenged the conventional conception of the wall and its function in the contemporary environment, including works such as “Flight of the fly, 2” and “Filigree,” which offered unique perspectives on the relationship between the wall and its surroundings.

The second phase, which began on July 2, moved to the museum’s basement, where Kaufmann presented his most recent works. Here, the artist continued to explore the diversity of brick as an artistic material. Through this phase, visitors had the opportunity to reflect on the cultural and symbolic importance of walls in our contemporary society while marveling at Jacques Kaufmann’s innovative creations.

Jacques Kaufmann, MUR / MUR’S

The Pottery Maker

22.03.2024 -

“Pottery is one of the oldest of the crafts, one of the earliest of the arts, so ancient that its origin is unknown”. The Pottery Maker is one of two short films directed by filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty after the completion of his second feature Moana in 1925.

In The Pottery Maker, a woman and her granddaughter visit a pottery workshop to buy a new jug. Fascinated by this age-old craft, the young woman carefully observes all the steps the potter takes to carry out his work. Kneading the wet clay to remove the air bubbles. Put it on the wheel. Add water constantly. Work the clay up and down to establish a harmony with the spinning wheel. Once this is finished, fires will be lit in the lower part of the kiln, which should be kept burning day and night until the piece is fired and ready for use.

Produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and sponsored by actress and Flaherty admirer Maude Adams in 1926, the short film was shot in the basement of the museum, with the participation of potter Victor Raffo, his daughter Ruth and Elizabeth Custer.

Richard Deacon – One Eagle Place cornice

23.01.2024 -

One Eagle Place in Piccadilly is part of one of the most iconic commissions by the renowned sculptor Richard Deacon. Commissioned by Eric Parry Architects, the emblematic cornice establishes a dialogue between architecture and art in the heart of London’s city centre. The brief was to replace and refurbish existing buildings in two conservation areas (Regent Street and St James’s) with new and retained facades.

The cornice and window frames were made of faience, a glazed finish. This is a technique widely used in Art Deco buildings and can still be seen on the interior and exterior of many London Underground stations. The process involved mixing different coloured clay in such a way that the original colours remained, but intermingled with each other. Otherwise, a more liquid form in which several colours are mixed at random usually ends in disaster.

This resulted in an iconic cornice from ceramic pieces made up of 30 different colours producing 299 variations. Although Deacon described the cornice design as a “happy accident”, it was exactly what was needed for the project and was enthusiastically accepted by the team at Eric Parry Architects.

Richard Deacon – One Eagle Place cornice

Setting a new standard

19.01.2024 -

Chinese materials company Yi Design has developed a porous brick made from recycled ceramic waste that could be used to prevent flooding in urban areas. The permeable brick is made from 90 per cent recycled ceramic waste sourced from industrial porcelain manufacturers in the city of Jingdezhen. According to Cheng, co-founder of the company, “This brick can harvest rainwater, redirecting it from the sewage system to the water table by permeating through the ground”.

According to YiDesign, China produces approximately 18 million tonnes of ceramic waste each year, the majority of which is dumped or buried illegally. Therefire, the company collected waste from selected local producers, before grinding and binding it together using a specially developed non-organic chemical binder.

The Permeable YiBrick uses up to 97 per cent recycled waste in its production, making the product both highly porous and robust. As a result, the building blocks can be used as a more absorbent alternative to conventional cement bricks in various architectural contexts. The resulting material is used to create a series of durable products such as bricks and glazed tiles in the company’s own factory in Jingdezhen, which was set up in 2021.


Architecture Forum. CEVISAMA’24

18.01.2024 -

The International Ceramics, Bathroom and Kitchen Fair will once again turn Valencia into the world capital of architecture from February 26 to March 1. On this occasion, on the occasion of the celebration of its 40th anniversary, CEVISAMA24 is developing activities of great interest. Thus, not only will it bring together the widest range of ceramic products, but it will also feature its traditional conferences by the leading exponents of ceramics in architecture.

CEVISAMA Lab 2024, has managed to bring together speakers of recognized prestige in the Architecture Forum, scheduled from February 27 to 29 at Feria Valencia. This is the case of Fuensanta Nieto, who will speak during the first day to detail the work of the studio she shares with Enrique Sobejano. Next, Max Arrocet will take the floor as a member of the London studio AL_A, led by Amanda Levete. Finally, Matthias Sauerbruch Hutton, co-founder of the renowned German studio Sauerbruch Hutton, will conclude the cycle of conferences on Tuesday, February 27.

The Architecture Forum, however, continues on the following two days. Néstor Montenegro will speak on Wednesday, February 28, to share his experience as founder of the young Extudio project. For his part, José María Sánchez, professor of projects at the ETSAM, will conclude the lineup of lectures on Thursday, February 29.

Cassils – Up to and including their limits

01.12.2023 -

Newly commissioned by the Gardiner Museum, Up To and Including Their Limits opens at a time of increasing visibility for trans people. However, as a consequence of this increased exposure, it also coincides with an increase in violence against trans people and the questioning of their rights. In this provocative performance, spectators confront this tension by pushing their bodies to the limit while the audience watches live.

Suspended from a harness in a plexiglass box with walls covered in thick raw clay, Cassils hurls himself from side to side. Scratching the walls and throwing chunks of clay on the floor, he creates “windows” through which the audience can watch the performative action. This is an homage to feminist icon Carolee Schneemann, using clay to re-imagine her eponymous performance (1971-76) from a non-binary trans perspective. As swathes of clay are removed, the artist problematises and complicates the public gaze by engineering voyeurism into the work itself.

According to Sequoia Miller, the curator of the exhibition, “Cassils’ use of clay to shape our understanding of the non-binary body has transformed our perception of both the material and trans identity. Cassils’ work has the power to reframe the way we understand ourselves and our relationships with others, in part through the medium of raw clay”.

Óscar Tusquets – Toledo Metro Station

23.11.2023 -

The Toledo metro station designed by architect Óscar Tusquets uses ceramic material to materialise the driving idea behind its architecture. The refined mosaic work inside the station creates a luminous atmosphere that recalls the Mediterranean identity of Naples. At the same time, the installation reveals its underground condition, commonly ignored in this type of work.

Thus, the parts above sea level seem to be dug into the rock, while the lower levels appear to be sunk into the sea. To realise this, the multidisciplinary artist William Kentridge created two murals in stone mosaic, of a rough and ancient character. In the “water” areas, however, it was Bob Wilson who installed, facing each other, two enormously long views of the seashore.

Wilson also played a key role in the lighting of the crater, creating a programme to coordinate colour and intensity over time.
In this way, through the large crater, natural light penetrates the mezzanine through three skylights that illuminate the interior while allowing passers-by a glimpse of the Aragonese wall and Kentridge’s mural.

Óscar Tusquets – Toledo Metro Station

Tile of Spain Awards 2023

22.11.2023 -

The verdict of Tile of Spain Awards 2023 took place on the 10th of November, with the prestigious architect Carme Pinós as the jury chairman. Jesús Olivares, Inma Bermúdez, Gracia Cardona and Susana Babiloni contributed their share as spokespersons in the jury gathered in Castellón.

On this occasion, Ripoll·Tizon was awarded for its project Casa en Puntiró in Mallorca. According to the jury, it is a very unified project in which the materials and the architectural resolution are assembled in a coherent manner. The materiality, structure, architectural solution is very balanced and it is remarkable that it has been worked at the same time and from the origin. The skill of the authors in the selection of materials and construction details is outstanding.

On the other hand, the winning project in the Interior Design of Tile of Spain Awards 2023 was Casa Isabel la Católica. Dibujando a José Mª García de Paredes by GRX Arquitectos. From the project, the jury highlights that the use of a timeless and standard 10x10cm piece articulates the entire housing programme, adapting to the plasticity of the house. The same material generates movement and has the versatility to adapt to all types of surface, even curved ones.

Essays on Architecture and Ceramic V

21.07.2023 -

A selection of reflections on ceramic material are once again published in book form in this fifth volume of the collection of essays coordinated by the Madrid Ceramics Chair. Different architects approach ceramics from multiple points of view, encouraging architecture students and their teachers to gain a deeper knowledge of this secular material.

Toni Gironès, author of the essay “Exchange processes: material from its condition”, takes a historical look at the creation and use of ceramics in architecture to finally address the relationship of this material in his own projects. Junya Ishigami, for his part, talks in his interview about his concerns about the role of ceramics, considering that it could be used as a main element in architecture. A third essay by Pablo Castro reveals the use of coloured ceramics as a didactic tool in his project Three Rivers Primary School, located east of the city of Beijing.

Finally, Paulo R. Liñan Figueiredo contributes the essay “Dialogue in Time. Scarpa and the luminescent heritage”. The author deals with the specific look of the ceramic solutions perpetrated by the Venetian architect, which allows us to understand the weight of a tradition, as a process of decantation of the future within the richness of the past.

Essays on Architecture and Ceramic V

Ceramic tiles manufacture process

12.07.2023 -

Produced by the Spanish Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, this didactic and enlightening documentary shows in detail the production process of ceramic tiles.

The video goes through the different stages of production, starting with the congeneration, a state-of-the-art process that produces the atomised powder with which the tiles are later shaped and pressed. Once they have acquired their final shape, they are placed in a dryer to reduce their humidity and increase their mechanical resistance.

Then, with the help of digital printing, the tiles are coated with one or more layers of glaze, a treatment that gives the surface a series of technical and aesthetic properties such as shine, colour and impermeability.

It is at this point in the process that the tiles are placed in a continuous kiln where they are subjected to a thermal cycle at high temperatures, obtaining different products depending on the composition, the temperature curve and the duration of the cycle. This causes a fundamental modification in their properties, giving rise to a hard material with excellent performance.

Finally, the process concludes with additional treatments, such as pre-cutting, surface polishing, grinding and bevelling. The result is a product that is perfectly controlled in terms of dimensional regularity, surface appearance and mechanical and chemical characteristics.

Joana Vasconcelo’s Wedding Cake

12.07.2023 -

For the last five years, celebrated Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos has been cooking up a 12m-high sculptural pavilion in the British countryside. Her three-tiered Wedding Cake is a Rothschild Foundation commission for the Waddesdon estate (a French Renaissance-style château owned by the National Trust and managed by the Rothschild Foundation).

Part sculpture, and part architectural garden folly, Wedding Cake is an extraordinary, gigantic, fully immersive sculpture that fuses pâtisserie, design and architecture. It is a tiled cake shimmering with a glaze of pinks, greens and pale blues inside and out, adorned with sculptural ornaments and featuring the sound of water and a dedicated lighting system.

‘I wanted people to have three different approaches to it: looking from the outside, enjoying the surroundings from the different levels or balconies and rising to the top, finally completing the artwork with their presence’ says Vasconcelos.

And this undertaking is emblematic of Vasconcelos’ practice. Her materials reflect the multitude of international influences on Portuguese culture over centuries – born from a history of exploring and seafaring, from Chinese and Japanese ceramics and Brazilian carnival, incorporating colour and light. In fact, for this project, the ceramics were made by the Viúva Lamego manufactory, which has been operating in Sintra, Portugal, for over 170 years.

Joana Vasconcelo’s Wedding Cake

A new approach for 1199SEIU

04.04.2023 -

Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye has completed the public spaces for members at the new New York headquarters of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare union in the United States. Anton Refregier’s mural, which adorned the original SEIU building, is commemorated with a replica in the entrance lobby. It depicts important moments depicting milestones in the SEIU’s struggle for labour rights, inspiring the subsequent rooms in the building.

The original work was mounted on a cinder block wall and its fragility and scale made it impossible to move, so Adjaye commissioned a replica. The reproduction of the mural opened Adjaye to the idea of transferring the rich history of the union to the new headquarters using a similar monumental form.

Thus, Adjaye decided to turn the union’s historic photographs into large-scale, mural-scale, floor-to-ceiling works of art. It was the tile factory Cerámica Suro in Guadalajara, Mexico, which has often worked with renowned artists, that was commissioned to reproduce these 80 photos on tiles at the desired scale, digitalising the images and transferring them to the two-inch square tile glaze.

A new approach for 1199SEIU

ACAWorkshop’ 23

03.04.2023 -

ACAW is a research and development workshop for cladding specialists to explore the use of terracotta in façade design. Representatives from industry and academia gather in Buffalo for the Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop. Thus, presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, the ACAWorkshop will take place from 12-15 August 2019.

The aim of the workshop is to introduce and consider the properties of terracotta at the beginning of the architectural design process. Research tasks are also developed between the manufacturing and architectural industry, as it is useful for high-performance façade design. Through the development of prototypes, the teams’ exploration includes the use of new digital tools in the production of terracotta assemblies. The development of unified façade systems as well as the variable materiality of terracotta can inform and enhance the performance of a façade.

As in previous editions, ACAWorkshop 2019 culminates in a week-long event, where teams build system models from their prototypes and present their studies to industry peers.

Ceramic shapes with history

01.04.2023 -

The history of this famous pottery house began in 1759, when its founder, Josiah Wedgwood I, aged just 29, started out as an independent potter in Burslem, England. His avant-garde spirit, energetic design policy and commitment to exacting standards of quality are values that remain at the heart of the pieces made today.

Many of the techniques pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood are still used today by craftsmen in Barlaston, England. Since 1940, the factory has combined modern technology with the ancient techniques of casting, shaping and decorating. Using unique materials, Jasper, luminescent Queen’s Ware and fine porcelain, Wedgwood continues the tradition of beautiful handmade works of art, with respect for the past and an eye to the future.

The following documentary, filmed by British Pathé in 1958, shows different shaping processes as well as the work that the craftsmen carried out in the Wedgwood factory on a daily basis: artists at their drawing tables, potters working the wheel, ornamenters fixing the different parts to the ceramic pieces… This is a unique historical document that allows us to get a close-up view of the work of this legendary, world-renowned ceramics house.

Studio RAP – Ceramic House

21.02.2023 -

Studio RAP designed and started production of the facade cladding of an eye-catching boutique in Amsterdam’s most luxurious shopping street, the P.C. Hooftstraat. This building is an example of how fusing the advanced methods of ceramic 3D printing, algorithmic design, and artisanal glazing, the architectural potential of ceramics and ornaments of the 21st century is revealed.

Using digital design algorithms, produced in-house, Studio RAP explores a reinterpretation of the decorative qualities and design vocabulary of glazed ceramics in the historical city of Amsterdam. The design replicates the silhouette of the original facade, continuing the characteristic tripartite of the street and maintaining the overall character of the site. The scale, size, type, and colour of the ornaments and materials are synced with the neighbouring buildings.

The design aims to inspire people around the world with a contemporary expression of digital craftsmanship, reinterpreting historical classics in new and exciting ways. The facade also refers to the collection of the nearby Rijksmuseum, where a large collection of ceramics from all over the world is stored. The highly differentiated and algorithmically designed details will be realized by using Studio RAP’s large scale 3d-printing technology, produced in-house at the architecture firm. This results in a luxury boutique that aspires to stand out amongst the surrounding buildings.

Loraine Rutt. Craft booms in the digital age

21.02.2023 -

The arts of cartography and ceramics are not as disparate as they might appear at first glance. Both work with the surface of the ground: the former records landmarks and selects elements to represent them to scale; the latter selects elements from the surface to combine and transform them into vessels or sculptures. For ceramicist Loraine Rutt, taking the physical surface of the earth and making scale models of our planet therefore seemed a natural progression.

Furthering this idea of decontextualising ceramics from their usual scale, Rutt has also made collaborations in the field of architecture. An example of this synergy between craftsmanship and industrial production is his design work for the façade of the Mapleton Crescent building, together with the Metropolitan Workshop studio.

For this commission, Rutt developed a unique blue-green terracotta cladding that responds to the tranquil Wandle River from three different profiles, which crown the building and give a transformative sense of depth to the façade. In addition, the perception of the colour of the earthenware varies according to the time of day. In direct sunlight it is green, and in low light it produces a reflective blue-green appearance that reveals the textures of the terracotta with greater impact.

Loraine Rutt. Craft booms in the digital age

Architecture and Design Forum. CEVISAMA23

13.02.2023 -

After two years of waiting, the International Ceramics, Bathroom and Kitchen Fair, CEVISAMA23, will once again turn Valencia into the world capital of architecture from 27 February to 3 March. Not only because it will bring together the widest range of ceramic products, but also because it has managed to put together a spectacular line-up for its traditional cycle of conferences. The Architecture and Design Forum will once again be curated by Luis Fernández-Galiano, Director of AV/Arquitectura Viva magazine.

With the aim of recovering the attendance of previous editions, important names in recent architecture will meet on 28 February at Feria Valencia. This is the case of Anne Lacaton, Pritzker 2021 and member of the French studio Lacaton&Vassal. Or Francis Kéré, Pritzker Prize 2022 and the first African architect to receive the discipline’s highest award. The influential English architect David Chipperfield, 2011 RIBA Gold Medalist, will also be present.

For all these reasons, CEVISAMA23 has once again become an essential meeting point for international distributors, developers, architects, designers, students and researchers.

ADN Cerámico

20.12.2022 -

As part of Valencia World Design Capital 2022 and led by Ana Illueca, the ADN Cerámico project claims the unique way of making design in the Valencian Community thanks to its link with the ceramic tradition.

Through a map showing the work of ceramists spread from north to south of the Valencian Community, it aims to demonstrate that ceramics is a differentiating quality in Valencian design, a declaration of intent stating that ceramics is more alive than ever. In turn, its mission is to highlight contemporary models to inspire new generations of ceramists and designers, as well as to establish collaborations that allow the industry new and innovative looks and ceramists new skills and internationalization of their contribution.

In the words of Ana Illueca “We would like to elaborate an identity that we can be proud of for the region, to build a ceramic community, a strong community that allows us to associate it with a greater economic value for a common benefit. And also for society to understand that there are different types of ceramics, such as technical, traditional, utilitarian, architectural, contemporary… And above all to understand that this is not a fashion or a hobby, but a trade”.

Tile of Spain Awards 2022

12.12.2022 -

The verdict of Tile of Spain Awards 2022 took place on the 29th of November, with the prestigious English architect Eric Parry as the jury chairman. Luis Rojo, Biba Dow, José Juan Barba, Agnès Blanch and Ángel Pitarch contributed their share as spokespersons in the jury gathered in Castellón.

On this occasion, Ripoll·Tizon was awarded for its project Social housing in Ibiza. The proposal highlights a traditional looking glazed stoneware tiles used to guarantee aesthetic appeal and high durability. The tiles also have a decorative function, marking out filled and empty spaces so that the architecture is organized around the empty inner space that plays such an important role in the makeup of the project.

On the other hand, the winning project in the Interior Design of Tile of Spain Awards 2022 was Avila. Planning an empty space by All Around Lab. The jury admired the project’s capacity to minimize the use of materials and aesthetic resources. Finally, Marta Millanes Sánchez won the award in the category of Final Degree Project. The work of the student from the Toledo School of Architecture proposes the use of ceramic materials as a linking thread to define different pathways throughout the home

Essays on Architecture and Ceramic IV

19.11.2022 -

Reflections on ceramics as a material have once again been published in book form in this fourth volume of the collection of essays coordinated by the Cátedra Cerámica Madrid. On this occasion, the architects have written texts about ceramics based on its use in their own architecture, a different use that reflects the distinct way each one thinks about architectural space.

Beatriz Matos Castaño and Alberto Martínez Castillo, authors of the essay «Ceramics and the Modern Masters, 5+1», in which they discuss the use of ceramics in modern and contemporary times. Sou Fujimoto, for his part, talks in his interview about the evolution of the design process in his studio as well as about ceramics in his work, a material he considers excellent in terms of durability, color and insulation. He also highlights the material’s ability to structure spaces and confesses his fascination with the Alhambra in Granada, a building in which the limits of space are blurred through ceramics.

Finally, Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas contributes the essay, «Never say never again». In it, he develops her thoughts about his relationship with ceramics throughout his career as an architect.

Essays on Architecture and Ceramic IV

A Model City

03.10.2022 -

DRDH Architects was one of two British studios, along with FAT, invited to design exhibitions for the 2010 Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennial of Urbanism. The proposal sought to address the individual and collective desires of the city’s inhabitants, engaging their children in issues such as observation and imagination. Ten workshops were organized in local schools in Shenzhen, in which 500 children participated in the construction of 2000 clay houses. The YoYo workshop, a local ceramics school, made repetitive clay blocks based on brick proportions, in three sizes. Using a set of modeling tools manufactured by DRDH, the children were invited to remake buildings they knew or imagine new ones for their city.

After that, the finished houses were coated with a traditional white glaze that reinforced their collective identity, but through the decoration and firing process each house also became more unique and individual as subtle deformations occurred. Each child was photographed with their finished house and, prior to the opening of the exhibition, they were invited to place it on the model of the city. This was defined by a table measuring 6 by 8 meters, incorporating a series of holes that allowed them to reach anywhere on the surface.

A Model City

arquitecturasceramicas 2010

29.09.2022 -

arquitecturasceramicas is a collection of texts published by the Cátedra Cerámica Valencia with the aim of enriching knowledge about the application of ceramic in architecture. This initiative perpetuates the idea that ceramics is material in constant evolution. It is a living and current material that is committed to the continuous research of new uses and applications, offering enormous creative and functional possibilities.

The third volume includes a first chapter of a theoretical nature containing an interview given by the Brazilian artist Athos Bulcao to the newspaper Jornal de Brasilia, the article Illusion as Structure, written by the North American sculptor Richard Lippold, and the testimony of the architect José Ignacio Linazasoro on his relationship with the ceramist Toni Cumella, analyzing the integration between the plastic arts and architecture.


arquitecturasceramicas 2010

Tile of Spain Awards 2022. Open call

18.07.2022 Event

ASCER (Spanish Ceramic Tie Manufactures’ Associations) announces the twenty-first edition of the Ceramic Awards for Architecture, Interior Design, and Final Project.

With this new edition, the purpose of the Tile of Spain Awards continues to improve awareness and understanding of ceramic tiles made in Spain and promote their use by professionals (both within the Spanish territory and beyond our borders). In the last edition of the awards, the winner in the architecture category was the project for the entrance to the New Headquarters of the Construction Labour Foundation of the Valencian Community in Betera by MRM Arquitectos.

Professional architects, interior designers, architectural engineers, landscape designers, and decorators of all nationalities can enter the 21st Tile of Spain Awards, and entries, which must make significant use of ceramic floor and/or wall tiles in the formal part of the building, can be submitted through the website up until 28 October 2022.

Clay Rotunda

24.05.2022 Innovation

The use of earth goes back to the earliest days of architecture. It was only with the advent of industrialization processes that the material was replaced and discarded, and associated with primitive ways of building. Environmental concerns and the pressures of climate change have been rescuing the material, which is carbon-neutral, and it has returned to the center of architecture’s interest.

Clay Rotunda by students of the MAS ETH DFAB, together with researchers of Gramazio Kohler Research, is ongoing research that has acted as a catalyst for the knowledge transfer between research and industry and is giving new meaning and investigating new ways —more efficient and durable— to build with earth.

This project combines clay with an in-situ robotic fabrication process by controlled pressing of clay cylinders to form interlocking aggregations. Built on-site with more than 30,000 soft clay bricks over 50 days, Clay Rotunda has a diameter of almost 11 meters and reaches a height of 5 meters with just unreinforced clay. The compression of about 60% of the original height assures a strong and interlocking aggregation, leading to a soft bond that expresses both the plasticity of the material and the dynamic forces of the construction process.


Essays on Architecture and Ceramic III

27.04.2022 Publication

Reflections on ceramics as a material have once again been published in book form in this third volume of the collection of essays coordinated by the Cátedra Cerámica Madrid. On this occasion, the architects have written texts about ceramics based on its use in their own architecture, a different use that reflects the distinct way each one thinks about architectural space.

Pedro Pablo Arroyo, author of the essay «Tattoos, Masks, and Veils in Paradise», in which he discusses the use of ceramics in Chinese gardens and architecture. Jorge Otero Pailos, for his part, spoke in his lecture «The Ambivalence of Smoke» of the architecture of US cities in the 20th century and the use of ceramics thanks to its hygienic-sanitary condition. This very condition, he explained, is what transforms the ceramics into a place where the deposits of pollution accumulate and can tell the story of the building’s history.

Finally, Carme Pinós contributes the essay, «From the Context». In it, she develops her thoughts about her architecture and in particular explained the Masana School, in which ceramics are used substantively in the design so that the material becomes the protagonist of the space.

Essays on Architecture and Ceramic III

Hanging Garden

27.04.2022 Design

Hanging Garden, a 15m long ceramic mural around the pool of a robust off-form concrete house in Sydney, was a collaboration between artist Lymesmith and Neeson Murcutt Architects.

Rising above large sandstone outcrops that cuts a diagonal across the site, and a lush garden, the mural is a landscape element experienced as part of the ensemble of the house. Its color palette – of deep red, orange, and clay pink, along with white and dark blue– perfectly blends into the natural elements. In such a way, the winding wall becomes a genuine part of the garden without mimicking any part of it – it has a beautiful sense of itself, distinct, and yet absolutely belonging to this place.

On the other hand, It isn’t possible to see the entire mural at once. To encounter the artwork requires moving between the house and the pool via paths and stairs, unveiling a dialogue between the site and architecture. At the same time, it makes the handmade glazed terracotta tiles wall stand out, becoming the focal point of the whole garden, thanks to its bright colors, pattern, and texture. The warm tones, the palm trees, and the games of light reflecting from the swimming pool create an emotional and peaceful atmosphere, supporting the fullness of family life.

Hanging Garden

Architectural Terra Cotta: Standard Construction

08.03.2022 Publication

The use of burned clayware in the form of brick, tile, or pottery has been uninterrupted and universal from the dawn of civilization to the present day. Although, the use of ceramic in the form architectural terra cotta has been more sporadic and local. Today it is a matter of common knowledge among architects that modern terra cotta possesses many superior qualities; that it may be economically made in an endless variety of forms and colors; that, if well made and properly set, it is permanently enduring and resists successfully the ravages of water and fire; it combined lightness with strength and beauty with usefulness.

Architectural Terra Cotta: Standard Construction is a brief synopsis of the manufacture of terracotta published by National Terra Cotta Society in 1914. The book, prepared through the cooperation of nearly all the manufacturers of architectural terra cotta in the United States, is in no sense intended to be a book of artistic aspirations. It does not presume to even suggest architectural design. This work compiles 70 drawings made under the direction of Peter C. Olsen. Each page leaf is a single draw that demonstrates the possibilities of this material in draft form to facilitate the use and its proper interpretation.

From the collection of Alan O’Bright. Digitized by Association for Preservation Technology International and Internet Archive.

Architectural Terra Cotta: Standard Construction

Flocking Tejas

25.02.2022 Innovation

Over time and across various cultures, the use of the tile in the roof has often been limited to construction systems with seemingly static, predictable, and flat organizational principles. This project designed by BASE, explores new spatial and formal repertoires that reimagine and enhance the usage and possibilities of traditional materials by means of global contemporary design methods.

In an almost sculptural fashion, the fragile ceramic elements suspended in a light-cable ceiling reveal the inherent capacity of its concave nature to constitute geometrically complex structures. Therefore, the system’s organization obeys an intuitive-like behavior among the parts: distance, weight, gravity, and physical stress, as well as the logic of mass proliferation and coordinated replicability. In that sense, the Chilean studio‘s proposal establishes a particular application within the several variations that the system allows. A design that invites people to create semi-open common spaces, making it essentially a social enabler that allows for inclusiveness and spatial generosity.

In the context of the Biennale di Venezia 2021, Flocking Tejas aims to trigger questions and evoke images and speculation about the spatial, social, identitarian potential of architecture, and local materials.

Yusuke Seki: Maruhiro

23.02.2022 Design

Standing on the shoulders of Hasami’s rich artisanal traditions, a ceramic platform emerges inside the flagship store for ceramics brand Maruhiro in Nagasaki. Maruhiro is the leading producer of Hasami ceramics which including pottery and porcelain. Named for the region, this area has a history of ceramic tableware production and wholesale distribution dating back to the early 17th century.

Architect Yusuke Seki project is easily distinguishable for his calculated minimalism and unconventional design. Using 25,000 locally sourced white tableware to create new layers in the space. Each of the pottery pieces are imperfect and sourced from factories in the Hasami region. These pieces called “Shinikiji” in Japanese were found to be flawed after the initial bisque-firing by their respective local production facilities. As part of his re-valuative design process, Seki revived these pieces. He filled the discarded cups, plates, and bowls with concrete to strengthen their voids and then stacked them together like bricks to over a meter-high in Tetris-like precision.

With a sustainable approach, the proposed design is a way to alter store-goers experience and interpretation of the environment. Furthermore, the white platform creates a sense of reverence for this history, conveying the fragilely of each individual item, engineered together to inspire and cultivate respect for the legacy on the whole.

arquitecturasceramicas 2009

30.01.2022 Publication

arquitecturasceramicas is a collection of texts published by the Cátedra Cerámica Valencia with the aim of enriching knowledge about the application of ceramic in architecture. This initiative perpetuates the idea that ceramics is material in constant evolution. It is a living and current material that is committed to the continuous research of new uses and applications, offering enormous creative and functional possibilities.

This second volume of arquitecturasceramicas includes a theoretical section with an article by Alberto Sartoris on the figure of the ceramist Antoni Cumella. Cumella was the winner of the National Award for Plastic Arts in 1980. Another of the texts reflects on the importance of light and shadow as configuring elements of space, by Ingeborg Flagges. Lastly, a third by Enrique Fernández-Vivancos analyses the repercussions of change in the evolution of ceramic material.

arquitecturasceramicas 2009

Digitally Crafted Ceramics

20.01.2022 Innovation

Trained as an architect and artist, Brian Peters has melded both worlds into a distinctive career. His medium is 3D-printed ceramics and the interplay of light and shadow.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, his work explores patterns, textures, and forms that show evidence of both the artist’s hand and the marks of the tools used. Peters is not interested in the perfection of machine made objects, but rather the art of integrating digital coding, custom-built technology, contemporary aesthetics, and natural clay. Once he develops a pattern and form that inspires you, he translates his two-dimensional sketches and drawings into digitally modeled 3D geometries that will be materialized in space. His parametric design process allows you to explore and make prototypes on 3D printers ceramic he built.

Brian Peters spend hours in my studio experimenting with clay bodies, scales, geometries, connections, and glazes. Each final piece is the result of countless prototypes. Finally, the pieces are refined by hand once it leaves the printer, dried for several days, and kiln-fired. Once bisqued, they are removed from the kiln, glazed by hand through traditional artisanal methods (if applicable), and then kiln-fired once again. All that means that craftsmanship and artistry remain an integral part of each piece. They are not machine made, they are digitally crafted.

Faith in the Miraculous by Matthew Raw

10.01.2022 Design

Matthew Raw (@mattrawworksinclay) is the artist commissioned to turn a huge section of outer wall by a main entrance into a beautiful mural. Matt’s ceramic artwork, called Faith in the Miraculous, is a labour of love and community inspiration, reflecting creativity and innovation.

This large-scale ceramic mural (5x15m) is installed on the new Arts & Humanities Building at The University of Warwick, designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios. Commissioned by curator Sarah Shalgosky in 2018, the artwork champions the coming together of people, references the architecture of Coventry Cathedral, with its spectacular array of color, and celebrates the historical skills of the area.

The fired clay tiles were made at the NBK Terracotta factory in Germany where Raw decided to make ‘hand-made’ interventions to carve and adapt a number of the 70x100cm tiles. The incredible effects of areas of mixed glaze —another hand-made intervention— represent the meeting of minds and the sharing of knowledge. As Matthew Raw puts it: “This artwork is an exploration of the act of people coming together to create. What relationships, collaborations, meetings, sharing of thoughts and ideas will this building facilitate? It is not knowing. It is the chance of it all.”

Faith in the Miraculous by Matthew Raw

André Saraiva

11.12.2021 Art

Completed in October 2016, the mural in Jardim Botto Machado is the largest piece of street art in Lisboa. Designed by André Saraiva, It is made up of 52,738 tiles manufactured by Viúva Lamego, following techniques and craft methods production, and hand-painted by the artist. The work was an initiative of the Lisbon City Council, together with MUDE – Museum of Design and Fashion and the S. Vicente Parish Council and span across 188 meters in length and 1011 square meters in area.

The mural, however, is much more than a pretty picture: it captures stories from Saraiva’s life. His drawings suggest a ‘reinterpretation’ of the Portuguese capital, represented through the colors and design that distinguishes his work. It blends past and present, as well as references to other world capitals, where the artist lives and works. On this occasion, Saravia instead of using spray paints or permanent markers, used paintbrushes, a technique that would allow his colourful and exuberant work to remain for at least a hundred years.

This film Private View: André, directed by Julie Georgia Bernard for NOWNESS, shows how the project came to life.

Lattice Detour by Héctor Zamora

02.12.2021 Art

The artist Héctor Zamora’s Lattice Detour is a monument to openness over the enclosure, lightness over heaviness, transience over permanence. The work, the eighth in a series of annual Roof Garden Commissions at The Metropolitan Museum, is organized by Iria Candela, the museum’s curator of Latin American art.

Mr. Zamora’s project is a free-standing curved wall of terra cotta bricks, over 100 feet long and 11 feet high. It appears to have a solid surface and to be perversely positioned to obscure a spectacular view of the park and the Manhattan skyline, nevertheless, the wall surface slowly reveals itself to have unexpected transparency becoming into a sensual and ethereal mesh. The ceramic elements suggest that the work’s role as a partition is equivocal. Its openwork texture allows a full, though filtered—pixelated—view, through it, of the city and park beyond. At the same time, the possibility of interaction between the viewers on either side of the wall is an image fraught with political meaning. With it, the artist wants to reflect what a wall—and specifically the planned U.S.-Mexico border wall—should be and do.

Discover how the artist Héctor Zamora discusses Lattice Detour, his site-specific installation for the Roof Garden at The Met.

Tile of Spain Awards 2021

23.11.2021 Event

The verdict of Tile of Spain Awards 2021 took place on the 20th of November, with the prestigious Spanish architect Carlos Ferrater as the jury chairman. Fermín Vázquez , Jaime Sanahuja, José Mª Marzo, Alicia Fernández and Ángel Pitarch contributed their share as spokespersons in the jury gathered in Castellón.

On this occasion, MRM Arquitectos was awarded for its project New Headquarters of the Construction Labour Foundation of the Valencian Community in Betera. The proposal highlights a standard product of large-format pieces applied with an industrialised system that defines the enclosure with criteria of cleanliness, order and minimisation of resources.

On the other hand, the winning project in the Interior Design of Tile of Spain Awards 2021 was Living in a Coderch House by Vilablanch. The jury admired the judicious selection of ceramic materials and the careful execution of the work. Finally, Gonzalo López Elorriaga won the award in the category of Final Degree Project. The work of the student from the ETSAM proposes the use of ceramic tiles with traditional formats, but with proposals that can be considered transgressive.

Illuminating Through Ceramics

17.11.2021 Publication

Illuminating Through Ceramics is a research-led teaching project taking place within the MArch Programme of the Liverpool School of Architecture. This project forms part of the Ceramic Tile Studies Departments, led by Rosa Urbano, sponsored by ASCER, and coordinated through ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade).

This publication shows new concepts of sustainable ceramic facades that improve the distribution of daylight in buildings by transforming the standard ceramic lattice wall into a dynamic lighting interface. By means of light-control techniques, geometrical analysis, and contemporary digital design tools, they aim to shape the ceramic surface to generate a system that captures, transports, and/or deflects daylight through the building skin.

The book shows displays visuals of the thirteen students’ proposals of the 2011-12 class, ranging over a variety of strategies: one natural chandelier, one performative shading facade, one light-deflecting rod screen, two systems of light-shelves, two systems of light-deflecting louvers, two rotating and mobile curtains, one light-transporting ceiling, two screens of vertical shading fins, and a dynamic shading ceiling. In short, all these projects reflect on materiality and tectonics as an instrument to promote ideas and develop new sustainable design methods.

Illuminating Through Ceramics

Essays on Architectures and Ceramics II

11.10.2021 Publication

Essays on Architectures and Ceramics by Cátedra Cerámica Madrid is a collection of texts whose aim is to bring together thinking about ceramic from a contemporary architectural perspective. The aforementioned objective of developing thinking about the spatial value of ceramic materials led the editors to ask a series of prestigious architects, professors to write a few architectural reflections that would constitute the essays contained in this small book of architectures and ceramics.

On this occasion, the architects have written texts about ceramics based on its use in their own architecture, a different use that reflects the different way each one thinks about architectural space.

Carlos Ferrater, under the title, “Ceramics, Variations,” develops the theme of the contemporary use of ceramics in architectural design by means of two projects: the Casa AA and Benidorm West Beach Promenade. Wang Shu, under the title, “From Earth to Ceramics. A Living Construction,” reflects on the relationship between architecture and nature in traditional Chinese architecture. A recurrent theme that runs through his constructed work, that leads him to the conclusion that tradition should be recovered in contemporary architecture by means of craftsmanship. Paredes-Pedrosa contributed the essay, “Ceramics in the Palau de Peñiscola”. In it, they review the process of that project.

Essays on Architectures and Ceramics II

The delicate art of Zellige

02.10.2021 Innovation

The art of Zellige is a delicate process, where attention to detail is a vital ingredient in the production of these little tiles. Even though the industry has modernized somewhat, the process for assembling ceramic pieces has not changed during this time. But how are these tiles manufactured?

Zellige is a handcrafted clay tile that originates from Morocco. Zellige pieces are known for their variations in tone, shine, flatness, and depth of the glazing, its surface texture with irregularities as well as its variability in shape and size. Each ceramic element is unique. The specialised craftsmen—Mâllems—work to create your designs. This traditional Moroccan tile is made from a very unique natural clay. This unrefined clay is kneaded with water, moulded by hand, and dried naturally in the sun. Raw tiles are fired in a kiln to create biscuits—Bejmat—which are glazed tile bay tile in a variety of colours before a second firing that will set the enamel. The last step is the hand cutting of the glazed bejmat in multiple shapes and sizes, to create the Zellige.

In the following video, a co-production of Morocco In Motion, Editions Amabilis Maroc Sarl and Amabilis Inc., you can observe the manufacturing process of this historical technique that continues to fascinate us in the 21st century.

Los Bravú

20.09.2021 Art

The imaginative intervention by the artistic duo Los Bravú on the façade of the Palacio de la Música in Madrid is an invitation to stop and observe in the middle of Gran Vía, one of the busiest and most emblematic streets in Spain.

The work, which is part of an initiative by the Montemadrid Foundation to unite two cultural projects: La Casa Encendida and the Palacio de la Música, is more than 30 metres wide and almost 5 metres high. Inspired by the typical tiles of the capital, the result is 2,842 white laser-printed tiles thanks to the collaboration of Clorofila Digital, Azulejos Peña, and the architect Arturo Garrido.

The ceramic mural, based on a drawing by Dea and Diego (Los Bravú) using different techniques and graphic styles ranging from watercolour to pen, pencil or felt-tip pen, aims to throw ideas, discourses and images at the spectator as if it were a cloud. It depicts scenes where contemporary objects, people and animals are represented in Renaissance style in a continuous space that interweaves a cultural puzzle, sometimes unconnected, in which to reflect the social, artistic and environmental concerns of our day-to-day life in a cosmopolitan city like Madrid.


13.09.2021 Innovation

ProtoCeramics is an experiment geared towards producing novel material with a special interest in tectonic performance. The project investigates the latest generation of thin, large-format ceramic tiles, which presently are largely used as interior surface finish or exterior cladding. But what if that material could be put to use in structural way? That’s the question posed by ProtoCeramics conducted by MaP+S group at Harvard University, in collaboration with ASCER and Javier Mira and Jorge Corrales from ITC.

The work led by Prof. Martin Bechthold, pursues three different material manipulations – cutting, folding, and bending – and explores the inherent opportunities of these strategies towards the production of self-supporting assemblies.

The project was exhibited at the CEVISAMA 2015 ceramic trade fair, where three large-scale prototypes were on display. Each column measured 3.6 meters (9.8 feet) tall and was made from 3mm-thick (0.12 inch-thick) ceramic tiles. To show the possibilities derived from the cutting method, the group used a CNC water jet to cut the tiles. To explore folding, the team used the flexibility afforded by the tiles’ mesh backing to create large-scale 3D geometries. Last, the team found that bending the material, a process to be seemingly antithetical to such a brittle substance, actually made it stronger through enhanced stiffness, allowing for “unexpected material formations that defy conventional expectations in ceramic design,” they write.


Tile of Spain Awards 2021. Open call

19.07.2021 Event

The Tile of Spain Awards 2021, organized by ASCER (Spanish Ceramic Tie Manufactures’ Associations), will be judged by an exceptional jury. This year,  the jury will be presided over by Spanish architect Carlos Ferrater, who happened to be the president of the Awards in their first edition in 2001. Carlos Ferrater is a founding, along with Xavier Martí, Lucía Ferrater, and Borja Ferrater, the Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB). In addition, He awarded the 2009 National Architecture Award by the Spanish Ministry of Housing for his overall career and since December 2011 member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (International RIBA Felowship)

With this new edition, the purpose of the Tile of Spain Awards continues to improve awareness and understanding of ceramic tiles made in Spain amongst architects and interior designers and promote their use by these professionals (both within the Spanish territory and beyond our borders). In the last edition of the awards, the winner in the architecture category was the project for the entrance to the Ter House (Girona) by MESURA and Salva López.

The 20th Tile of Spain Awards is now open and entries can be submitted through the website up until 28 October 2021.



arquitecturasceramicas 2008

29.06.2021 Publication

arquitecturasceramicas is a collection of texts published by the Cátedra Cerámica Valencia with the aim of enriching knowledge about the application of ceramic in architecture. This initiative, which was born after two years of work at the Valencia school, perpetuates the idea that ceramics is material in constant evolution. It is a living and current material that is committed to the continuous research of new uses and applications, offering enormous creative and functional possibilities.

This first volume of arquitecturasceramicas includes one article on the figure of the ceramist Llorens Artigas and another on project theory written by Paul Rand. A Third text analyses the strategies for using ceramic coverings today and lastly, the projects developed by the students during the Envolventes workshop are compiled. This reflects all the effort and enthusiasm of the participants in the various activities of the Network of Ceramic Tile Studies Departments promoted by ASCER. As an epilogue, it includes the photographs and comments made about La Ricarda, the work of Antonio Bonet, by those who had the opportunity to visit it.

arquitecturasceramicas 2008

ACAWorkshop’ 21

18.06.2021 Event

The Architecture Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW), presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta in collaboration with the universities of Carnegie Mellon and Buffalo, is a hands-on research and development event that brings together professionals from the architectural industry and academia. This event offers participants the opportunity to explore innovative building solutions and further their understanding of architectural terracotta for large-scale assemblies. Through pre-design and prototype development, teams’ exploration includes the use of new digital tools. Centered around themes of sustainability and biophilia, the research and development of these ACAWorkshops have culminated into real-world projects that have been known to be groundbreaking and influential around the world.

Typically, the ACAWorkshop culminates in a weeklong event however due to Covid-19 this year’s event is to be held virtually. Teams consisting of different manufacturers, architects, designers, and students alike collaborate to design terracotta features that will push the limits of what is possible.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s ACAW virtual presentation is set to take place on August 19, 2021. For more details go to ACAW’ 21.


22.05.2021 Design

Felipe Pantone is one of the most recognized and prestigious artists in the world today. He was responsible for developing this peculiar project for the façade of the Fine Arts Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). His work included in his #Chromadynamica series and perfectly done by Onix mosaic with a Pixel Art style, where each pixel is a tessera.

In the own words of Felipe Pantone, “The idea was to adapt my style to the mosaic technique, limiting the amount of colours and treating the tesserae as if they were pixels. The graphics in question represent images that evoke an idea of ​​the present time. It talks about the characteristics that I consider important in our times: the digital world, change and speed.”

With a size of more than 330m2, more than 500.000 pieces of 6 different colours were needed for the construction of the work. These 6 colours at an adequate distance are able to deceive the human eye, making it see a great chromatic variety.


Os Azulejos Do Oporto

30.03.2021 Design

Os Azulejos do Porto is a non-profit project to catalogue and preserve all the tiles architectures in Porto whose aim is to preserve this important heritage and make it known worldwide.

The history of architecture is inevitably linked to the ceramic covering sector. Since the middle of the 19th century the Portuguese started to cover their buildings with tiles, becoming since then the country in the world that has more examples of this art. The idea came to life in 2016, after Marisa Ferreira and Alba Plaza met.

Considering the vast number of different tiles that exist, Os Azulejos do Porto is a public digital archive in HD in constant growth. On their website, you can see the various styles: geometric, organic and floral along with the design categories: rotation, concentric and four dots. While doing so, they are researching the history of the tiles, identifying specific factories, dates and whatever they can obtain. In the 19th century, 19 ceramic factories across Porto existed, out of which six were the most important for producing tiles. Now, few artisans who still create tiles traditionally, either hand-painted or in relief, exist today as the remaining factories print quickly and cheaply.

All images credited to Os Azulejos do Porto

Essays on Architectures and Ceramics I

25.03.2021 Publication

Essays on Architectures and Ceramics by Cátedra Cerámica Madrid is a collection of texts whose aim is to bring together thinking about ceramic from a contemporary architectural perspective. The aforementioned objective of developing thinking about the spatial value of ceramic materials led the editors to ask a series of prestigious architects, professors to write a few architectural reflections that would constitute the essays contained in this small book.

In this first volume, the four invited architects have written texts about ceramics based on its use in their own architecture and their interest in thinking about it.

Arturo Franco offers an essay in which he looks at the future of ceramics by reviewing its history. The second text, signed by Javier Bernalte and José Luis León, speaking of their design for Business Incubator in Toledo, reflect on a constant element of architecture: the lattice. Finally, Francisco Cifuentes looks at the ceramic material from the construction of objects and tools that contribute to protecting man.

Essays on Architectures and Ceramics I

New Delft Blue

24.03.2021 Innovation

New Delft Blue is a pioneering project in the historic Dutch city Delft, designed and 3D-printed by Studio RAP. In this case, the project reinterprets the world-famous decorative qualities and design vocabulary of Delft Blue porcelain. All this, by fusing 3D clay printing, computational design, and tradition.

The approximately 4,000 lush ceramic pieces will clad the two large entry gates of the PoortMeesters building block, which is part of the large scale redevelopment Nieuw Delft. These gates, four meters wide, eight meters high and twelve meters deep, cover a large public staircase where a serpentine line in the ornamental pattern guides viewers eyes past the straight lines of the staircase. For the manufacture of the pieces, Studio RAP used an algorithmic approach to 3D pattern design. After printing these tests at Studio Rap’s workshop, the tiles have been fired and glazed by Koninklijke Tichelaar. This work between the two teams has made it possible to combine the tile with artisanal glazing, a poetic process of ‘painting with shape’ that has given them to create contemporary, rich and unique ceramic tiles.

The New Delft Blue project shows the potential for 3D printed ceramics can go far and for this reason, it will also be applied in a future residential highrise project that the Dutch company is designing

New Delft Blue

European Floors. Ceramic at your feet

02.02.2021 Art

With our heads in the clouds, we often forget about the material beauty and art that surrounds us. Sebastian Erras, however, has won acclaim and a wide following for documenting the beauty of the world beneath our feet. Sebastian is a German freelance photographer specialising in interior photography. He has a passion and a keen eye for symmetry, design and decoration. With “Parisian Floors” he started taking pictures of the floor of the city of Paris, inspired by the mosaics during a trip to Marrakech and his visit to the Bahai Palace. In his Instagram account (@parisianfloors), he shows a brilliant collection of floors from different parts of the world.

This personal project of the German photographer tries to capture the surprising patterns of ceramic tiles, discovered while travelling through the cities. Starting with Paris, Sebastian has gone on to photograph different European cities such as Barcelona, London and Venice. In all of them, his shoes appear to give a sense of scale and remind us that sometimes it is also permissible to look down. The series draws attention not only to design but also to fashion, as Erras’ elegant shoes have increasingly become part of the compositions of his photographs.

All images credited to Sebastian Erras Photography

European Floors. Ceramic at your feet

Tile Architectures

01.02.2021 Interview

The tile is a traditional material associated with the cladding for surfaces or as an isolated decorative element of the architecture. In Tile Architectures, episode number 20 of the Atelier d’Arquitetura collection, the aim is to show how this material has become a construction element widespread in different countries, becoming an important support for national artistic expression in Portugal today. 

This documentary series, produced by the company “Até ao fim do mundo” with the collaboration of the magazine ARQA – arquitectura y arte, aims to be a contemporary look at Portuguese architecture and its real impact on Portuguese society. The main actors, architects and users, will establish a special link with the visual arts and design. In addition, the different episodes will focus on the context of Architecture, Urban Space, Object, the scale of detail and its aesthetic potential through form, sound, images and people. Siza Vieira, Eduardo Souto Moura, Gonçalo Byrne, Patrícia Barbas, Miguel Arruda, Camilo Rebelo, João Luís Carrilho da Graça, Cannatà and Fernandes, among others, are some of the protagonists who will accompany us throughout the chapters.

In Tile Architectures, we want to share with you a video about the importance and challenges of Portuguese tiles. We hope you enjoy it! 


Ceramic Shell

12.01.2021 Innovation

Floating overhead like a giant pair of wings at the 2014 CEVISAMA, Ceramic Shell was a ceramic structure created by MaP+S and Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC) and sponsored by ASCER. The ceramic cover consisted of a deck measuring about 7,8×4,5 meters in a plan view, suspended from the central columns of the building.

The sculptural model is a mock-up of a structural ceramic and concrete shell system that discovers new structural possibilities in ceramics. Ceramic Shell system was part of a research project that highlights the aesthetic and formal qualities of an innovative structural system. This project was originally developed by MaP+S at GSD in collaboration with the Institute for Structural Design at TU Graz.

The special feature of the installation is the double-curvature surface. A covering which is finished with just a single type of piece, whereas double-curvature surfaces usually need several types of pieces. In order to achieve this simplification, the glazed stoneware pieces, manufactured by Ceràmica Cumella, were fitted, thus accommodating the differences in measurements of the surface to be clad.

Ceramic Shell


23.12.2020 Innovation

“Brick-Topia, an ephemeral project by the architects of the association Map13 Barcelona, was the winning project in the “Build-it” category at the International Festival of Architecture Eme3 held of June 2013 in one of the courtyards of the former factory Fabra i Coats. The proposal is the result of the academic research by Marta Domènech, David López and Mariana Palumbo, co-founders of the group.

The idea was based on a combination of the latest structural analysis and form-finding computational tools with traditional, cheap and effective construction techniques.

Brick-Topia pavilion is a vaulted structure made of brick using a traditional construction technique called “Catalan vault”. It is the result of innovation to fight against budget and time. This construction takes as a reference the prototype built by Philippe Block, Matthias Rippman and Lara Davis at the ETH Zurich, with which they demonstrated the reliability of “RhinoVault”, a plug-in for Rhinoceros, used to design the pavilion. It is a form-finding software, developed at the Block Research Group, that allows the design of compression-only vaulted structures when subjected to self-weight.

You can also take a look at video of the construction here!

All images credited to Map13, Manuel de Lózar and Paula López



10.12.2020 Design

The square is the foundation of a regular geometric grid. In 1908, Adolf Loos used the equilateral rectangle to highlight the orthogonal orientation of the interior of his so-called Kärntner Bar, the first American-style bar in Vienna. Whit this concept, the LAX BAR, designed by Christoph Meier, Ute Müller, Robert Schwarz and Lukas Stopczynski, is a copy of the Loos’s proposal.

The immersive installation reduces architecture to its very essence and centres around a seemingly simple design that underlines the sheer impact of the material. Walls, floors, ceilings and fixed furniture were completely covered in white ceramic tiles measuring 15  x 15 cm. The black grout between the tiles create a minimalist grid that also characterises the place: an all-over design of tiles and grout that repudiates practically any direct reference to the outside world and reminds the French artist Jean-Pierre Raynaud, known for tiling entire houses with white square tiles. The design also makes use of mirrors as a way of inscribing visitors into the architecture of the LAX BAR.

In short, when the door to this inconspicuous building opens, the visitors, like Alice in Wonderland, fall down a kind of rabbit hole. As an infinite image within the image.

All images credited to Ute Müller


ASCER Ceramic Awards 2020

30.11.2020 Event

The verdict of ASCER Ceramic Awards 2020 took place on 26th of November, with the prestigious Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and his right-hand man at studio, Javier Villar as the jury chairman. Jonathan Arnabat, Izaskun Chinchilla, Daria de Seta, Lázaro Rosa-Violán contributed their share as spokespersons in the jury gathered in Castellón.

On this occasion, the Mesura studio was awarded for its project Ter House in the Baix Empotdà. The proposal praised the versatile use given to the ceramic, in positions and functions of all kinds, lending the project a discrete yet rich appeal.

On the other hand, the winning project in the Interior Design of ASCER Ceramic Awards 2020 was Atlantis Gastrobar by Arantxa Manrique. The jury admired how ceramic materials were used as a star feature of the whole project. Finally, Andrea Puebla won the award in the category of Final Project. The work of the student from the CEU San Pablo Madrid invents a new form of “impluvium” where ceramics are used as a main material.

Ephemeral Pavilion on Lake Leman

30.10.2020 Design

The ephemeral Pavilion d’Eau, designed by Alexander Wolhoff, was built on the Lake Geneva in 2017. This was the result of six months of research, prototyping and coordination with different local organizations, a month of production and just two days of assembly.

The pavilion was comprised of materials including lake stones, wood, and ceramic tiles to ensure a minimal and reversible impact on the site. A project designed to touch the landscape lightly, not affecting the natural lake bed. The inside, which is only visible within the water, was built with 150 handmade tiles whose thickness of the tiles varied between 1.3 and 2mm. The inward surface of each tile made up the inner dome was glazed with navy blue. So that its crystallized relief seemed to adopt liquid movements that are in dialogue with the mountainous and the half liquid, upon which it stood.

In short, the whole technical and logistical proposal was an achievement born out of the collaboration between the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Haute école d’art et de design – Genève (HEAD).  More particularly between the laboratories ALICE and LHT3, the Center for Experimentation and Realisation in Contemporary Ceramics and the municipality of Saint Saphorin.

All Photos and Drawings credited to Alexander Wolhoff

Ephemeral Pavilion on Lake Leman

Gaudí & Trencadís

22.10.2020 Event

The National Museum of Ceramics and the Word Monuments Fund present the itinerant exhibition Gaudí & Trencadís. Curated by Mireia Freixa and Marta Saliné and coordinated by Pablo Longoria, WMF Spain Executive Director, the exhibit will run from October 2  to January 3 at the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas in Valencia.

The exhibit explains the origin and evolution of the trencadis mosaic technique, breaking it down to reveal the raw materials from which it is composed. Gaudí & Trencadís and shows us how the Catalan architect experimented with all kinds of materials, especially ceramics. This technique is one of the visuals which best characterize the work of Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926).

One of the parties of the exhibition will focus on the evolution of trencadís in Gaudi’s works, from the Güell Pavilions in 1883 –where the technique was used for the first time–, to the Güell Palace, the Torre Bellesguard, the Casa Batlló, the Park Güell, the Casa Milà Segimon, Casa Vicens the church of the Güell Colony and the Sagrada Familia. Since then, Gaudí experimented with all kinds of materials, especially ceramics, replacing the regular cut of traditional mosaic tiles with random fragments. Around him, a whole team of artisans, industrialists, and labourers evolved – including, of note, architect Josep M. Jujol, to whom Gaudí imparted his creativity and affection for recycling of materials.

Ceramica Artistica Solimene

09.10.2020 Design

An hour south of Naples on the Amalfi Coast stands Ceramica Artistica Solimene factory, the only European building designed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri (1919–2013).

Approaching the design holistically, Soleri used local and available materials. This was, of course, ceramic, which he used as a dominant decorative element of the building. Cantilevered into the hill, the building’s wavy structure and tiled façade give the appearance of a giant lizard soaking in the sun. The interior of the ceramic factory opens up into a noble, almost temple-like space, with powerful pillars in the shape of a Y, which are the supports for the entire structure.

In the proposal of Ceramica Artistica Solimene by Paolo Soleri, there are references not only his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright but also the radical Italian Baroque of Francesco Borromini and Guarino Guarini with their concave and convex curves. Composed of circular terra-cotta and green tiles, mosaic glass strips, and diamond-shaped windows, the earth-coloured factory effectively blends into the Mediterranean landscape. On the other hand, large windows flood the building with natural light while the ceramic cones promote the factory’s products.

Nolla Palace’s restoration

25.09.2020 Interview

The rediscovery of the Palauet Nolla’s ceramic mosaics in Meliana was a true revelation, both for their unique character in terms of surface and quality, and for the social and industrial significance. This old 17th century farmhouse became the symbol of the famous Nolla mosaic factory. It was no longer a simple historical building in the Valencian countryside, but a showroom where many famous people from the second half of the 19th century visited.

After several decades, and after the abandonment experienced, the structure was deeply damaged and some of the ceramic decoration had suffered great deterioration. Therefore, its condition was truly critical. To revert this process of loss, a group of architects, restorers and expert ceramists, led by Xavier Laumain (ARAE Patrimonio y Restauración), began work in 2011 to recover this unique monument. Since then, ten phases have been carried out, which have allowed the consolidation of the building and the reconstruction and restoration of the different ceramic mosaics. The reproduction work has been carried out using the same techniques as those originally used and has managed to recover all the splendour of the Palauet.

Video credited to Milena Villalba and Santi H Puig

The Production of Fatige

12.09.2020 Innovation

Léa Mazy is a visual artist and product design that is developing a printing method for the ceramic industry. A new approach which envisions to inspire and challenge more manufactures to sustainable and innovative visions in existing production processes.

The Production of Fatigue features is a printing process revealing the creative potential of fatigue and exposing its unexpected aesthetic qualities, making use of the fading quality of a printer as its ink cartridges run low. To do this, the artist features an analogue and hand-powered tool replicates the movements of a printer with a back and forth linear motion. As the result of handcrafted mechanical and systematic motion she designed, each print on the tile is the recording of its own production pace. In addition, depending on the surface the printing-method is applied on, an always surprising and subtle variety of color and pattern nuances emerges.

With her research, Léa aims to demonstrate that “the tile industry is a great platform to show the possibility of distinction and subtleties in mass-produced standard pieces”. “Each tile becomes the witness of a unique outcome.” Léa says.


Kengo Kuma chairs the jury of the Spanish Tile Awards 2020

10.09.2020 Event

The Tile of Spain Awards 2020, organized by ASCER (Spanish Ceramic Tie Manufactures’ Associations), will be judged by an exceptional jury. At this edition, the jury will be presided over by prestigious Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, founding of the prestigious Tokyo-based firm KKAA – Kengo Kuma & Associates, and his right-hand man at studio, Javier Villar.

The other members of the jury are internationally renowned professionals in architecture and design who have an extensive knowledge of how ceramic materials can be used. They are Jonathan Arnabat, founder partner of Arquitectura-G; architect Izaskun Chinchilla; Daria de Seta, from architects’ studio Garcés-de Seta-Bonet; and well-known interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán.

With this new edition, the purpose of the Ceramics Awards continues to promote the use of Spanish ceramics in architectural and interior design works (both within the Spanish territory and beyond our borders). In the last edition of the Ceramic Awards, the winner in the architecture category was the project for the entrance to the Research Institute of the Hospital de Sant Pau (Barcelona) by PICHarchitects and 2BMFG Arquitectes. This edition of the Tile of Spain Awards 2020 is now open and entries can be submitted through the website up until October 23rd in any of its three categories: Architecture, Interior Design and Final Degree Projects.


Construction Tour: 111 W 57th

20.07.2020 Innovation

With a total height of 1,428 feet, the residential tower 111W57th by SHoP Architects will be among the tallest buildings in New York. This project will become as a prominent new local and regional landmark, when it wraps up construction some time in 2020.

The tower’s form is a bold innovative approach thank to using an authentic material from the golden age of the Manhattan skyscraper: terra-cotta. Whit nearly 43,000 terra-cotta pieces, mechanically fastened to a unitized aluminum curtain wall system, the ceramic strips was designed using a 3-D wave geometry generated by a computational script. Ceramic blocks extruded, glazed, and then stacked into an involute pattern, like a softly breaking wave, that appears at once novel and familiar. Staggering those elements across the facade creates a distinctive moiré that changes dramatically when seen in different lights or from various distances. This geometrical focused idea by SHoP was adapted by NBK Terracotta to conform to the specific fabrication parameters of the ceramic pieces.

In this post, FIELD Condition shows us very closely the installation of the terra-cotta, bronze, and glass curtain wall, which has reached the last quarter of the 82-story tower.

All images credited to FIEDL Condition

Construction Tour: 111 W 57th

Second Hand

16.07.2020 Art

Second Hand is an artistic project by Zhanna Kadyrova, which began in 2014 and reflects on and engages with Soviet monumental art. From then on, Ukrainian artist has been exploring ‘the history of buildings that have changed ownership and function’ by making visual analogies between the object and the place. That is, her work explores the relationship between architecture and mosaic panels of socialist housing projects, institutions and factories. One of the most striking aspects of Kadyrova’s art, which includes photography, video, sculpture, performance, and installation, is her experimentation with forms, materials, and meaning.

In this work, the artist creates various objects reminiscent of Soviet fashion of the 1960s-1970s. She uses both smalt and ceramic tiles, Second hand material predominantly taken from destroyed or abandoned Soviet factories. Second Hand project is delimited of two factories: the silk factory Darnitsa, and the Kiev Film Copy Factory.

The exhibition functions as a space of encounter for these materials which now takes new historical and symbolic significance. Film reel, ceramic and synthetic fibres, smalt and concrete build here a frame for Kadyrova’s objects. In short, a result where the artist encourages viewers to see old buildings and castoffs in a striking new light.

All images credited to Zhanna Kadyrova

Second Hand

UCL Cancer Institute

27.05.2020 Interview

UCL Cancer Institute designed by GRIMSHAW and located between the classical, red brick medical school and the new institute Paul O’Gorman at University College London, is cladded with a rhythmic, undulating terracotta.

The façade proposal was influenced by science and the study of cancer (images of cells, patterns and the chromosomes permeate the forms of the building). Therefore, the comprising of vertical terracotta blades set at varying angles to the street in front of a glazed envelope, has a rhythm that can be read as a vertical ‘bar code’ configuration or genetic sequence image. The positioning of the individual terracotta blades was determined by sunlight studies, with the intention of mitigating the negative impact of solar rays. The aim was maximising the use of natural lighting, whilst allowing views in and out of the building. Furthermore, the slender ceramic blades, have holes through the body to accommodate a stainless steel tube which holds them together. This rod acts as the stiff spine of the seven extruded segments of terracotta that make up the louvres.

These pieces resonate with the adjoining 19th century Cruciform building by Alfred Waterhouse who considered terracotta a ‘new and exciting modern material’. This is why UCL Cancer Institute of GRIMSHAW continuing this tradition of pushing the boundaries of terracotta’s use in architecture.

A Factory As It Might Be

12.05.2020 Innovation

A Factory As It Might Be is a new architectural proposal at A/D/O by Assemble, Granby Workshop & collaborators. The project is part of the inaugural season of A/D/O’s Design Academy. Therefore, the installation takes the form of a ‘model factory‘, equipped with a single machine: an extruder, and a single material: clay.

The project takes its name from Morris’s 1884 article imagining the ideal factory as one where work, leisure and education are combined, in a building. In this factory, improvisation is introduced to a process so that each component produced is different and production is treated as a creative activity.

A Factory As It Might Be by Assemble, star out as a simple galvanized steel and wood structure of a building, the factory’s first products were designed to complete the building. A cladding of blue and white ceramic tiles was made for the facade that were produced using an industrial clay extruder and an electric kiln. Finally, alongside planters, dinnerware and door handles, creating a richly decorated building that is part workspace, part display space.

All images credited to Sam Nixon, Granby Workshop and Assemble.

A Factory As It Might Be

Adriana Varejão

05.05.2020 Art

In a village near Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state in Brazil is based the Inhotim Centre for Contemporary Arts. A fascinating project in which various pavilions and structures are located throughout the lush green parkland of 35 hectares, surrounded by a verdant native forest. The most recent of these installations is one dedicated to Adriana Varejão (Río de Janeiro, 1964), one of the leading contemporary artists in Brazil.

The artist’s practice centers on the use of ceramic tiles, both depicted in paint and as literal components of the work. Varejão has cited a range of inspirations, alluding to her native Brazil’s colonization by featuring the blue and white ‘azulejos’ brought by the Portuguese colonists. With meticulous attention to craft, Varejão’s practice stages the convergence of binaries, between geometric and organic, mesmerizing and repulsive.

In Caruaru, Adriana Varejão has sculpted what may resemble a cross-section of a tiled floor, and beneath it, we see a bloody mess of entrails. The geometry and cool colouring of the tiles is offset by the violent, expressive and irrational nature of the ‘meat’ below. Varejão reiterates this fact with an emphasis on memory and history: we shall never be able to dissociate or apologise for the atrocities of colonisation, war, and injustice.

Adriana Varejão

History’s Hands

23.04.2020 Innovation

In 2011, The Metropolitan Museum opened the new galleries for the art of the Arab Lands, which house the Museum’s collection of Islamic art. At the heart of all those galleries would create the main feature of Moroccan and southern Spanish Islamic architecture: a medieval Maghrebi-Andalusian-style courtyard.

This documentary showcase a marvelous journey from the former city of Fez, Morocco, to the museum of New York. A journey through islamic art that reflect the construction of a court in the 21st century, steeped in the traditions of the past. All this thanks to a group of artisans — workers in historical North African tile and the upholders of rare artisanal methods—. The result was a complex geometry where more than 70 tiles create a colorful motif that is copied, rotated and arranged into a layered pattern. The beauty of this kind of design is emphasized by the craftsmanship as the hand gives the materials warmth and gives it something extra.

In its 140 years of history, The Met has concerns itself with the work of dead artists and had rarely undertaken to install a work of a group of living craftsmen inside the museum for the purposes of creating a exquisite work with ceramic materials, plaster and wood ornament.

Murmuration by Cai Guo-Qiang

02.04.2020 Art

In a dual presentation of Chinese art and culture past and present, the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series at the National Gallery of Victoria presents China’s ancient terracotta warriors alongside an exhibition of new works by one of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists, Murmuration by Cai Guo-Qiang.

“The ever-changing formation of 10,000 porcelain birds in Murmuration seems to embody the lingering spirits of the underground army,’ says Cai Guo-Qiang, ‘or perhaps the haunting shadow of China’s imperial past. But in this age of globalisation, aren’t they also forming a mirage, an exoticised imagination of the cultural other?”

Cai Guo-Qiang’s handmade Murmuration undulate here and there, softly imitating the mighty face of Mount Li. Juxtaposed together, the ancient soldiers and contemporary flock merge to form a new meridian. The porcelain birds are Cai’s answer to the terracotta warriors. They even arose from a pit where they were blackened by gunpowder in a series of controlled explosions. They may fly in formation, but a bird will always be a conspicuous symbol of freedom. By contrast Qin Shihuang’s guardian army is a remnant of a political system that prefigures every totalitarian state in history.

Savile Row Building: Truth to Material

14.03.2020 Interview

The 24th building on Savile Row is a tribute to tailoring heritage of Mayfair’s neighborhood, home to the city’s most exclusive suit makers. The EPR Architects project unites art and architecture to create a brand new landmark building that is cladding in 10,000 ceramic tiles.

Art is integrated into the fabric of the building using a hand glazed ceramic tile, a collaboration with renowned artist Kate Malone and her studio team in Islington. Ceramist spent a year responding to the needs of the architect to define the glazes and unique recipes for the facade’s tiles.

The manufacturing process involved taking a strong, well-proven 30cm by 30cm extruded tile design from Europe and then applying the glazes. Then, the tiles were fired at Froyle Tiles (Richard Miller), a specialist artisan pottery. Contrasts of colour, texture and pattern create a striking presence thanks to the three-dimensional crystallines that reflect and refract daylight, changing the appearance and tone of the building, depending on the weather and time of day.

In this film Stephen Pey and Kate Malone, talk about their roles in the design and the nature of collaboration for Savile Row Building.

Tile for Yu-un, 2006, by Olafur Eliasson

09.03.2020 Interview

Housing has always been an important part of Tadao Ando’s practice, with over 100 small and large residences worldwide. Nowadays, as a part of a new collaborative trend, he continues designing houses but counting on the contribution of recognized artists.

Situated on a quiet residential street of unremarkable homes, Obayashi House hides a particularly innovative collaboration. Ando’s signature spare, concrete-and-glass spaces are punctuated in the middle of the N-shaped plan by the artwork Tile for Yu-un by artist Olafur Eliason as a courtyard “lining” for this gallery house in Tokyo. Based on a space-filling structure called the quasi brick, the shape of the tiles was developed over many years of research and is a geometry that recurs often in Eliasson’s work.

Tadao Ando’s houses favor centrally placed courtyards that illuminate dark interiors with light. As the natural light changes throughout the day, night and seasons, so do the interiors. “I hope that as guests enter the Obayashi House they feel a sense of expectation and excitement,” says Tadao Ando. The bricks can be rotated into six different positions, and put together randomly as they create a very complex pattern. The idea of the quasi brick is the expression of high complexity: the tiles could symbolize the multi-faceted life of the businessman-cum-art collector.

Ceramic Morphologies

20.02.2020 Innovation

Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S), lead by Martin Bechthold, is a research unit that promotes the understanding, development and deployment of innovative technologies for buildings. MaP+S looks at materiality as starting points for design research, with a special interest in robotic and computer-numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication processes as well as small scale work on nano-materials. On the occasion, this project was developed by Material Processes and Systems Group, supplemented with material research by Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica in Castellón.

Ceramic Morphologies explores the design opportunities of a novel ceramic 3d printing strategy. The pavilion is meant to showcase the expressive potential of ceramic 3d printing. The shape and design are products of research related to the thermal performance of naturally ventilated spaces. Its pyramidal shape facilitates upward air movement, and the interior geometry impacts the thermal exchange between ambient air and the interior mass/surface. Whereas, the contoured, sinusoidal texture of the interior surface is designed to optimize the ratio of surface area to thermal mass, and maximize the potential for cooling through natural ventilation and buoyancy effects. For all this, the project team created different mathematical models with the aim of predicting the thermal behavior of the system.

Ceramic Morphologies

IX International Congress of Ceramics and Architecture

04.02.2020 Event

The Ceramic Tile Studies Department of Madrid was created as a result of the agreement reached between the Technical University of Madrid and ASCER. In its effort to promote new ways of innovating, the IX International Congress of Ceramics and Architecture gives continuity to a project of many editions. As a result, the School of Architecture of Madrid hosts this meeting the 21th and 22th of April under the title «Ceramic, Handcraft and Technology».

This gathering seeks to share their experiences related to the investigation, innovation, construction and compositional application of non-structural ceramic materials in contemporary architecture. Consequently, researchers, PhD students, artists, engineers, writers, sociologists and other professionals from Architecture-related disciplines are invited to the meeting.

On the one hand, the IX International Congress of Ceramics and Architecture aims to place ceramics in an architectural context from an historical-artistic perspective. For this reason, it will take place a meeting of masters who have employed ceramic materials, restorations of ceramic buildings. On the other hand, its intention is to promulgate the work of contemporary architects who have used ceramics in their professional or academic work.

III Architecture and Design Forum

20.01.2020 Event

The International Architectural Ceramics, Bathroom and Kitchen Fair CEVISAMA 2020 will once again make Valencia the capital of architecture from 3th to 7th February. Not only because it will bring together the widest range of products on offer in recent editions but also because it has managed to close a spectacular panel for its III Architecture and Design Forum, which will once again be curated by Luis Fernández-Galiano, Director of the AV/Arquitectura Viva magazine.

In order to attract more people, CEVISAMA Lab 2020, CEVISAMA’s powerhouse of ideas, has managed to bring together leading international speakers in architecture. This year the Forum will feature personalities such as the Pritzker Prizes 2005 and 2017: the American Thom Mayne and the Catalan studio RCR. Moreover, its feature with the influential Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the award-winning Barozzi/Veiga team, Belinda Tato, Benedetta Tagliabue and Antón García-Abril. The III Architecture and Design Forum will take place on the 4th and 5th of February at Feria Valencia.

Therefore, the 38th edition becomes an essential meeting for distributors, promoters, architects, designers, students and researchers in the international field of the ceramic sector.


16.01.2020 Art

Gateway, by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, an artwork integrated in a whimsical pool garden and is the result of collaboration whit Jupiter Artland. The nine-metre swimming pool is surrounded by a hedge that frames the whole composition and is a natural limit to the artist´s intervention. Furthermor, It is essential not to easily give the visitor the obvious path to entrance of this constellation.

Of Gateway, artist Joana Vasconcelos states: «Gateway is a big splash that invites the public to immerse in a joyful and spirited dimension, leading to a connection with the energy of the Earth. It’s like a threshold to another universe that we’re not conscious of but through which we can flow».

The artist has incorporated patterns from her own astrological chart into the design of the artwork, which is made of 11,366 hand-painted and glazed tiles crafted using traditional methods at a 100-year-old factory in Vasconcelos’ native Portugal. Each tile is one of a kind and was developed by Viúva Lamego and Atelier Joana Vasconcelos for its specific location on this site. Like so much of Vasconcelos’ work, Gateway is collectively formed and the result is a labour highlighting the industry’s close cooperation with craftsmen and artists.

All images credited to Joana Vasconcelos, Dário Branco and Allan Pollok-Morris


Interview to Toni Cumella

07.01.2020 Interview

Brick by Brick: Ceramics Applied to Architecture come back once more. We share with you the last interview which was held for exhibition Brick by Brick, held in the Museo del Diseño de Barcelona in 2017. This time, Toni Cumella deepens into the ceramic material from his experience as a ceramist. As told by mysths and confirmed by archaeological findings, clay has been the most widespread of building materials.

Ceramics have always fascinated the mast creative minds, who have challenged themselves to use this material’s legacy to project it into the future whit new system of productions, new laying techniques, new formats and new applications. Tis is especially obvious in the field of architecture, where in recent decades we have seen how its possibilities have been rediscovered.

This fact on clay and its capacity to be extruded, molded, modeled and handled is fundamental for considering the trinomial: material-industry-construction. Therefore, in this video Toni Cumella talks about the geology, the places, properties, chemistry of clay, production systems, techniques, fundamentals, shape, and fire. On the other hand, he reflect on the way to make it more widely known this knowledge among students and researchers in the field of architecture.

Hand Held to Super Scale: Building with Ceramics

11.12.2019 Event

This autumn the Building Centre celebrates the resurgence of ceramics in contemporary architecture through Hand Held to Super Scale: Building with Ceramics. The exhibition which brings together the artists, craftsmens and manufacturers working on ground-breaking projects in this material, showing from 19 September 2019 until January 2020.

The show explores a close connection between hand-held ceramic objects and large-scale urban interventions. Also from the glazed household items that inspire whole building facades to the manufacturers using scaled-up processes familiar to studio potters. Both traditional production methods and innovative technology are equally embraced in the show, with hand-crafted pieces sitting alongside mass ceramic production and robotic technology. Newly completed projects, buildings still under construction, handmade items and classic examples of ceramics in architecture come together to help tell the story of ceramics.

‘Hand Held to Super Scale: Building with Ceramics’ is an exhibition curated by the Building Centre exhibitions team and Fettle Studio, founded by Lydia Johnson. The practices and artists featured includes: AHMM, Assemble, Toni Cumella, EPR Architects with ceramicist Kate Malone, Eric Parry Architects with artist Richard Deacon.

ASCER Ceramic Awards 2019

22.11.2019 Event

With the prestigious architect Jacob van Rijs (MVRDV) as chairman of the jury, last November 20th, took place the deliveration of ASCER Ceramic Awards 2019. Inês Lobo (Inês Lobo Arquitectura), David Lorente (H Arquitectes), Eugeni Bach (Anna & Eugeni Bach), Héctor Ruiz Velázquez (Ruiz Velázquez Architecture  & Design Team), Tomoko Sakamoto (Spread Editores) and Ramón Monfort (CTAC) contributed their share as spokespersons in the jury gathered in Castellón.

On this occasion, the studio PICH Architects was awarded for its project Research Centre of the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona. The jury of the Architecture Prize highlights that the project seeks to mimic the modernist ensemble in which it is inserted from its ceramic envelope.

The winning project in the Interior Design of ASCER Ceramic Awards 2019 is “Waiting room in the docks of a bus station (Badajoz)” by José María Sánchez García in which the jury assesses the presence of the same material capable of resolving all the situations posed by a cladding of a public space. Finally, the PFC category award was for “Memento Mori” by Óscar Cruz García. This work of the ETSA Madrid student showed the maturity and sensitivity of a project as drawn as it has been lived.

Making Solo

20.11.2019 Design

The essence of the traditional construction technique for producing contemporary pieces remains intact in the Making Solo installation by Studio Errante Architettura. This group of young architects founded by Sarah Becchio and Paolo Borghino is based in Turin and develops projects at different scales, with special interest in the narrative part of the project.

Understanding architecture as a way of thinking about reality, each project is a discovery in which previous experiences are condensed and which, above all, opens up to unexpected scenarios. In particular, in this work, Becchio and Borghino reinterpet the production of ceramic pieces from tradition by creating new forms that allow innovative designs.

“The vacuum left by industry in some forms of production is clear. But it is this gap that allows us to offer unexpected forms through the use of traditional techniques that can be reinvented. The return to the consciousness of the process of making is the only political act of re-appropriation of any future. The process of doing and the result can only coincide. Mind, hands and eyes in an ancient ritual. An oven, a primordial laboratory. A happy refuge with experimentation. The symbolic realization of a new attitude of doing, in which the rite flows towards an archetypal image. Without nostalgia, only doing.”

Indus tiles

18.11.2019 Innovation

The Bio-Integrated Design Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture has created a modular system of tiles inlaid with algae that can filter toxic chemical dyes and heavy metals out of water. Called Indus, These tiles have been designed by an interdisciplinary team led by Dr Brenda Parker, Professor Marcos Cruz and Shneel Malik.

These pieces mimic the structure of leaves and their ability to distribute water evenly to every part of a plant. The ravines are then filled with micro-algae which are suspended within the “biological scaffold” of a seaweed-derived hydrogel. It trickles through the tile channels and is collected at the bottom. As it flows over the channels, the water is subject to a process called bioremediation, in which microorganisms are used to consume and break down pollutants. Finally, once they are saturated, the algae can be replaced with a fresh batch.

Each Indus tile is made by pressing clay into fan-shaped moulds with a series of “vein-like channels” and can be continually reused and re-filled. Each modular tile unit is attached to the next through half-lap joints, and so can be individually removed without taking apart the entire system. This is crucial, as it allows for easy maintenance and adaptation.

Villarrobledo Clay Jars

30.10.2019 Innovation

Four centuries of pottery activity turn Villarrobledo into a world reference of this ancestral knowledge for the creation of clay jars. These pieces, unique for their characteristics and elaboration technique, were in another epoch the recipient par excellence for the elaboration and conservation of wine.

The jar industry evolved over the centuries, going from being an artisan activity that made small pottery pieces, to become a guild activity. The large number of ovens that existed in this locality prove this, reflecting the importance of this industry until the first half of the twentieth century. Likewise, the quality and quantity of the existing clay in this locality contributed in a decisive way to promote the evolution of this trade.

Today, Villarrobledo jars still use the same clay as their ancestors, although the way of extracting it has been modernised, replacing man with machine. What has been maintained is the way the jars are made, as well as the use of a particular type of clay that stands out for its resistance. Therefore, a strong material is obtained, capable of resisting the high temperatures necessary for cooking the pieces, with a soft touch and without porosities.

CeramicINformation Pavilion

21.10.2019 Innovation

The Material Technologies Lab of The Faculty of Architecture at The HKU has recently finished its second robotically manufactured intervention called “CeramicINformation Pavilion.” Thus, the aim of the project is to reconcile the material intelligence of vernacular crafts with the specificity promised by digital design and fabrication technologies.

Firstly, explores the process of construction and seeks to find an appropriate level of automation suitable for emerging and transitioning economies. Each of the approximately 1000 components that make up the experimental structure is unique and has a specific immanent relationship to its neighbors. Secondly, this approach allowed the complex construction to be realized using unskilled labor, over a short period, without the need for typical architectural drawings. Therefore, the bricks were manufactured over a period of 20 days before the lightweight elements were shipped to the site and assembled into the multifaceted wall. Further, approximately 1.5million lines of code were generated – with each brick containing an average of 1400 individual target-points.

CeramicINformation Pavilion examined the Chinese terracotta brick, and explored it’s potential re-shaping through the process of robotic 3d printing. Certainly, this project highlights the expression and the capacity these systems have to change the way in which we fashion the built environment.

CeramicINformation Pavilion

Tile Grid Shell

05.10.2019 Innovation

Developed by researchers and students from the Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Ceramic Tectonics: Tile Grid Shell explores the structural capabilities of thin, large format ceramic tiles – a product commonly used as an interior surface finish or exterior cladding. In other words, Ceramic Tectonics asks the question; can a product typically experienced as a two-dimensional surface also define and enclose a three-dimensional space?

Fabricated from unreinforced 6mm thick ceramic tile, the catenary form of this triangular, self-supporting grid shell is designed to minimize internal stresses and efficiently span between three points of support. Thus, it consists of 462 unique elements ranging from 82 – 181cm in length and measuring 107.22 sqm in total area. Likewise, the structure weighs approximately 1,662 kg with a maximum interior height of 2.48m. Also, with a span of 6 m between supports, the structure includes approximately 13.5 sqm of occupiable interior space.

Tile Grid Shell form a novel structural pattern formed by 30 ceramic ribs which are a world-wide first system of this kind constructed from ceramics. Certainly, this project shows how the structural applications are emerging as new applications for tiles, challenging age-old perceptions of ceramic as surface finish.

Edmund de Waal, the white road

30.09.2019 Interview

Edmund de Waal is an artist who writes. Based in London, he trained as a potter, studying ceramics at Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Scholarship in Japan. Both his artistic and written practice have broken new ground through their critical engagement with the history and ceramics, as well as with architecture.

The artist, whose porcelain is exhibited in museums and galleries around, has developed an international reputation in the art world as a master of pottery. He bringing refinement and passion to its creation and expanding the limits of preconceived ideas of his discipline, by questioning an object’s narrative, their place and how they are displayed. His work with this material is a journey of a lifetime that offers a comment on time, memory and objects. Therefore, he reminding the viewer that context is integral to the meaning of art. De Waal continually investigates themes of diaspora, memorial, materiality and over all the colour white with his interventions and artworks. The ceramist states: “Other things in the world are white but for me porcelain comes first”

In this video shows a unique view inside the studio of Edmund de Waal where he talks to Will Rycroft about his lifelong obsession with porcelain clay and why shards have become an integral part of his work.


27.09.2019 Event

CERSAIE 2019, the International Exhibition of Ceramics and Bathroom Furniture has been held in Bologna from 23 to 27 September. Moreover, in this 37th edition, the refinement of the format was accompanied by the enlargement of the showground as a novelty. Thus, Archincont(r)act has been presented as an exhibition space in addition to the existing areas dedicated to architecture and bathroom equipment.

During the official presentation of the 2019 edition, Emilio Mussini, of Confindustria Ceramica, announced: “The change is of a conceptual nature, in order to make the world’s most important trade fair for ceramics and bathroom furniture evolve towards an innovative display method. The step forward is profound, of a structural nature and refers to the categories of products, the layout of the exhibitions and the reference audiences”.

In short, this trade fair in Bologna with more than 900 exhibitors, CERSAIE 2019, is one of the most important in the world. Since 1982, this meeting has contributed to promoting the recognition of ceramic materials, inspiring the most demanding architectural and design projects.

Tile of Spain Awards 2019. Open call

05.09.2019 Event

ASCER (Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Azulejos y Pavimentos Cerámicos) announces the eighteenth edition of the Ceramic Awards for Architecture, Interior Design and Final Project. The jury is made up of internationally renowned professionals in architecture and design. The purpose of the Ceramics Awards is to promote the use of Spanish ceramics in architectural and interior design works (both within the Spanish territory and beyond our borders).

Jacob van Rijs, founding partner of the prestigious Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV, which has a long international career, chairs the jury. The rest of the jury is made up of: Inês Lobo; Portuguese architect; David Lorente, founding partner of the H Arquitectes studio; Eugeni Bach, of Bach Arquitectes; Héctor Ruiz Velázquez, architect and alma mater of Ruiz Velázquez Architecture & Desig Team; Tomoko Sakamoto, editor specialised in architecture; and Ramón Monfort, of the Castellón College of Architects.

In the last edition of the Ceramic Awards, the winner in the architecture category was the project for the entrance to the Palma de Mallorca intermodal station by the architect Joan Seguí Colomar. This year, the registration period for the 18th Ceramic Awards is now open and the deadline for the presentation of projects is 24 October 2019.

Marking the line

28.07.2019 Art

With help from the Arts Council England, the Joanna Bird Foundation’s first touring exhibition Marking the line; Ceramics and Architecture was launchedThis project was conceived as a life-specific exhibition in response to Sir John Soane, one of Britain’s greatest architects. Firstly opened at Sir John Soane’s Museum, the show travelled on to two further houses designed by Soane: Port Eliot in Cornwall and Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing.

The Foundation commissioned the artists Nicholas Rena, Carina Ciscato, Clare Twomey and Christie Brown to create ceramic installations responding to the work of the architect. Above all, the exhibition sought to challenge where and how we view ancient and modern works of art. Consequently, by introducing contemporary ceramic art into an historic architectural setting visitors were able to explore the relationship between ceramics and architecture. Therefore, it was proved that different dialogues between the work and it’s historic setting emerged as the exhibition translated from one venue to the next.

In short, Marking the line has introduced many more people to Soane’s work and legacy, including his gem of a Museum in Holborn and his home at Pitzhanger Manor. ‘This is a fascinating exhibition with contemporary artists taking inspiration from one of our most visionary architects. ’ – Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

ACAWorkshop’ 19

06.07.2019 Event

ACAW is a hands-on research and development workshop for architects and facade engineers to explore the use of terra cotta in high-performance facade design. Representatives of industry and academia from around the world gather in Buffalo, New York for the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop. Presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, the ACAWorkshop will take place from 12 to 15 of August 2019.

The workshop’s objective is to introduce and consider the properties of terra cotta earlier in the architect’s design process. Also to develop research and design models between manufacturing and architectural industries is useful to the efficient production of high-performance facade solutions. Through pre-design and prototype development, teams’ exploration includes the use of new digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies. The development of unitized façade systems, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta can inform and enhance a façade’s performance.

As in ACAW’18, ACAWorkshop 2019 culminates in a weeklong event, with teams constructing system models from their prototypes, and presenting their studies to peers in the industry.

Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities

22.06.2019 Innovation

The 3D Printed Cabin brings many of Emerging Objects software and hardware experiments together to demonstrate the architectural potential of additive manufacturing on a building. Due to a housing emergency in the Bay Area, the Oakland City Council eased restrictions on the construction of secondary housing units, or backyard cottages. This has opened the door for Emerging Objects to use the relaxed codes to experiment towards addressing housing problems at a micro scale.

In this project, the front facade of the cabin has been comprised of a number of Planter Tile shapes to create a living wall of naturally thriving in the California climate. However, the roof and contiguous facades to the gable are clad in a 3D printed ceramic rain screen of seed stitch tiles. The interior, in turn, is clad with the Chroma Curl Wall, which illuminates both interior and exterior, converting the cabin into a beacon of light.

In 3D Printed Cabin, G-code is used to control each line of clay as it is 3D printed to create a texture that looks like seeds scattered across the surface. So, while all ceramic tiles are printed from the same file, each tile is intentionally unique as a product of fabrication.

Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities

Blueprint for a Landscape

27.05.2019 Design

The American artist Sarah Sze materializes in Blueprint for a Landscape her work with the most public and challenging vocation to date. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design to collaborate in the design of installations exhibited in existing stations along Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the author states: “A subway station is one of the most democratic places you can find. It has regular local audiences as well as international and ad hoc audiences. It’s always a discovery, seen in transit, not an art destination”.

Blueprint for a Landscape understands each entrance along with the connecting platform at 96th Street station as an opportunity to study our behavior through space. The project consists of 4 murals and 12 panels totaling 4,300 tiles in two different formats (20 mm thick). These porcelain tiles manufactured by Alcalagres and Estudio Cerámico have a total surface area of approximately 14,000 square metres.

Thus, the ceramic pieces incorporate manipulated photographs of familiar objects – paper sheets, scaffolding, birds, trees and foliage – captured at a whirlwind speed that reflect the dizzying rhythm of the passengers who come to the station every day. “They were obsessed with this idea of accelerating the experience of time, especially through transit.”


Kneaded Memory

15.05.2019 Art

The Portuguese artist Dalila Gonçalves has developed “Kneaded Memory”, a garden of sculptures that currently occupy the Blankenbergue square in Flanders. The installation is composed of a series of pieces that resemble rocks and fragments with different shapes and sizes.

In order to develop the installation, the surface of the stones was mapped and the ceramic pieces were moulded so that they fit perfectly to these irregular and rounded surfaces. In this way, a grid was created to indicate where each decorative component would be placed permanently.

It is through this conjugation that Goçalves sought to cross the local Belgian narrative and the traditional Portuguese craft relationship with the ceramic tile manufacturing process. In fact, part of the surfaces of these shapes are covered with manufactured tiles that typically adorn the vibrant facades of his native country. In addition, since Flanders is historically renowned for the quality of its ceramics and tiles, the patterns of the tiles came from Blankenbergue.

Based on experimental play, the permeability of materials and the processes of artistic practice, Dalila Gonçalves delves into the relationship between kneaded memory and oblivion.

Kneaded Memory

Sustainable Housing 4.0

07.05.2019 Innovation

After the construction of Gaia, the first architectural module based on raw earth and 3D printing, WASP  (World’s Advanced Saving Project) starts a new technological application with a view to Expo 2020. The 3D printed house measures 30 square meters and is located in Massa Lombardo, in Shamballa, in the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Their goal is to help solve the world’s housing problem by using natural, low-cost, low-impact local materials. In this sense, the use of this technology is not limited to a specific urban or rural context.

The construction in question represents an advanced eco-sustainable model, especially based on the performance that masonry guarantees in terms of interior comfort. This method means a substantial reduction in the costs induced by the use of raw earth and residues from the agricultural chain.

The technique used in this project demonstrates the potential for the use of diversified materials in 3D printing and construction in general. In fact, waste materials from a raw material such as rice can become effective insulation. The cavities inside the walls allow ventilation and efficiency in general. In this sense, willing to interpret its vision in a way compatible with the demands of each applicant, 3D printing WASP intends to start the construction of an eco-neighbourhood. This training would be able to implement replicable construction strategies in any territorial circumstance.

Infinity Blue

26.04.2019 Design

Infinity Blue, the work designed by Grimshaw Architects and Studio Swine, is part of the Invisible Worlds exhibition, a title that refers to the world beyond our senses. The 20-ton, 9-metre-high installation contains 32 vortex cannons programmed to exhale perfumed fog rings. It is a way of representing the organism that provides the oxygen we take in each breath.

The sculpture is inspired by the prehistoric atmosphere of the earth and is the result of research into one of the first organisms to produce oxygen. “We were really interested in cyanobacteria, tiny oceanic organisms that are invisible to the naked eye. Yet they represent the largest biomass on our planet and create 70 per cent of the Earth’s atmosphere.”

The surface of Infinity Blue, designed by Studio Swine, is lined with oxide-enameled, steel-framed dark blue clay ceramic tiles manufactured by Darwen Terracotta. In addition, its texture is created from an algorithm inspired by the reaction-diffusion systems found in creatures such as zebras or corals. For the steam rings, Givaudan, a fragrance and flavor specialist based in Paris, has created a custom fragrance for the installation.

Arcobaleno Tower’s restoration

16.04.2019 Design

In the course of building works for the new Porta Garibaldi in Milan, a concrete water tower was erected in the early 1960s. Nowadays, Arcobaleno Tower ceramic restoration has become a benchmark in the skyline which welcomes the visitors, showing the creative attitude of the city.

The first renovation of the infrastructure, which refers to the artisanal origins of the Italian ceramics industry, took place within the framework of the 1990 World Cup. Therefore, 100,000 ceramic tiles in 14 different colours transformed the ruined building into a symbol of the city. After that, coinciding with Expo 2015, restoration work was again carried out so that the building could shine in all its splendour.

The Original Designers 6R5 Network were responsible for both the design of the intervention in the 1990s and its recent refurbishment. Moreover, the Arcobaleno Tower ceramic restoration is part of the Wonderline project, which links art and architecture through themes such as color and tradition.


Arcobaleno Tower’s restoration

Flight Assembled Architecture

05.04.2019 Innovation

Flight Assembled Architecture is the first architectural installation assembled by flying robots, free from the touch of human hands. The work is the result of a rigorous architectural design by Gramazio Kohler Research and a visionary robotic system by Raffaello D’Andrea.

Thus, over 1.500 modules which are placed by a multitude of quadrotor helicopters, respond to mathematical algorithms that translate digital design data to the behavior of the flying machines. In this way, the flying vehicles extend themselves as “living” architectural machines and complete the composition from their dynamic formation of movement and building performance. The design, with an architectural vision of a 600m high “vertical village” for 30’000 inhabitants unfolds as a model in 1:100 scale. This newly founded village would be located in Meuse, taking advantage of an existing TGV connection that brings its inhabitants to Paris before long.

It is from this quest of an “ideal” self-sustaining habitat that the authors pursue a radical new way of thinking and materializing verticality in architecture. Flight Assembled Architecture is located at the FRAC Center in Orléans, in a department which is dedicated to put together a collection devoted to experimental architecture.

The geometric world of Enric Mestre

27.03.2019 Art

Originally trained in painting, sculptor ceramist Enric Mestre Estellés that born 1936, studied at San Carlos Fine Arts School in Valencia and the ceramics school in Manises. During his time as a ceramics student, he met Alfonso Blasco and connected whit the artistic interests of this ceramist. The artist, in the thirties, alongside other such as Llorens Artigas and Francisco Ibáñez, took Spain into the mainstream of modern ceramic art.

Mestre, both as a teacher and practitioner, has himself come to be regarded as an important liberating link between this formative generation and that of Spain’s younger avant-garde and he has been recognized worldwide for his sculptural objects. Influenced by the ceramics of the Far East, his propositions were based on using high temperature bodies and investigating new vitrifications and glazed that made. This made unnecessary to employ painted ornament in the traditional manner.

Enric Mestre’s art is evocative as boxlike, slab built architectural structures of austere colors dominated by right angles. Objects of an interlocking geometry, of light and shadow, that create tableaux to the imagination whit a poetic charm which saves them from only being rational and cold. Though these objects are often carefully planned and developed. Mestre insists on intuition as if obeying a kind of constructive poetics restraining and controlling personal expressions without eliminating them.

The geometric world of Enric Mestre

Coverings’ 19

20.03.2019 Event

Coverings 2019 is the preeminent event for the ceramic tile & natural stone industry in North America. All in one venue, it allows to see thousands of dazzling products, connect with suppliers from around the globe and discover ground-breaking techniques.

Coverings is also dedicated to providing education, including CEUs, through: conference sessions, hands-on workshops, live demos, show floor tours and more. Year after year, education program of the event includes leading speakers from every segment of the industry to ensure you stay current and have access to all the resources you need to improve.

At this edition, the event will take place in April 9-12 in Orlando, Florida and attendees could view the latest products, trends, and tools from 1,100+ of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers. Want to take a trip around the world? Coverings 2019 pavilions include: North America, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Brazil. Want to find inspiration? Coverings featured new trends, textures, shapes and alternative uses of tile and stone.


The ceramic pieces for the Ohla Hotel

05.03.2019 Innovation

Designed by the architect Daniel Isern, the new Hotel Ohla Eixample sits at the heart of Barcelona’s Eixample district, in what used to be a 1970s office block.

The façade is also unique in its use of robotics. “With the help of Cerámica Cumella and the IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia), we’ve invented an algorithm that uses sound to create a template that a robot etches onto the surface of the ceramic tile while it is extruded. This process allows us to create an infinite number of pieces. In conclusión, each one unique and different but all of them with the same lines. For this pieces, we chose “Vivaldi Recomposed” by Max Richter, which, like us, takes something from the past and brings it up to date”, says the architect.

More than 800 pieces of different sizes make up a vast puzzle of vertical ceramic modules, blurring the order and number of storeys. Therefore, the façade also has five large wooden frames in it that are in fact balconies and that break up the lines of the frontage. This system has been used to create the large ceramic mural that covers the entire ground floor from the reception area to the Xerta restaurant, via the café and the cocktail lounge.

Cuyperspassage in Amsterdam

28.02.2019 Design

Cuyperspassage by Benthem Crouwel Architects, is the name of the 110 metres long new tunnel at Amsterdam Central Station that connects the city and the waters of the IJ-river. Moreover, its design makes a clear division between the two modes of travel: pedestrian path and cycleway.

Along the footpath wall there is a tile tableau designed by Irma Boom which design steps off from a restored work by the Rotterdam tile painter Cornelis Boumeester (1652-1733). His tile panel depicting the Warship Rotterdam and the Herring Fleet is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The tableau fades away towards the IJ-river, the lines of the original work gradually dissolving. Its drawn lines and pixels visualize the transition in art from the old to the new.

The ceramic company, spent five years making the 46,000 wall tiles for the Cuyperspassage in Amsterdam, as well as 33,000 floor tiles, in the traditional Dutch tile size of 13 x 13 cm. The whole recalls old kitchens in Amsterdam canal houses, so that the tunnel is experienced as a safe place – as an urban room.

Cuyperspassage in Amsterdam

Interview to Pedro Azara

18.02.2019 Interview

Brick by Brick, organized by Pedro Azara, was the first exhibition devoted to the uses, functions, symbolism and aesthetics of this type of ceramic. The exhibition includes works from the ancient world to the present, particularly from the Mediterranean area, including the Middle East.

In this event, the Museu del Disseny wanted to highlight the importance and the continuing use of ceramic in architecture. In addition, focusing on both long-standing traditions and innovation in this field over the course of the millennia.Therefore, the show features a selection of three hundred ceramic pieces applied in architecture.

We share with you a video of the exhibition Brick by Brick: Ceramics Applied to Architecture explained by his curator the architect Pedro Azara. The exhibition, was held simultaneously with the Forty-Seventh Congress of the International Academy of Ceramics in Barcelona, an event that took hosted in the Disseny Hub Barcelona building, was hold in the Museo del Diseño in Barcelona from September 2016 until January 2017.

Cradle to cradle

11.02.2019 Design

Looking for paying a Portuguese tribute combining the tradition of tiles and contemporary design, Pedrita studio was invited to create a panel for the Hotel hall.

Convento Salvador Hotel, located at Alfama historical neighborhood, is an adaptation of one of the oldest Lisbon convents. The Convento do Salvador Centre belongs along with the Hotel, to the Association for Children’s Cultural Promotion – APCC, and is decorated with works of artists such as Ana Hatherly, Paula Rego, Pedro Cabrita Reis, João Pedro Croft, Julião Sarmento, among others. Continuing the work developed with discontinued industrial, end-of-the-line tiles and following the same concept as the panels made for Capristanos caffé (2016) and Best Guess For This Image solo show, which we were captivated by the uncertainty of the portrayed picture.

This video by Pedrita Studio, shows the design and manufacturing of the ceramic mosaic of the Queen Catarina, who would have lived in this convent.


24.01.2019 Event

The International Fair for Architectural Ceramic, Bathroom and Kitchens CEVISAMA’ 19, has established itself as the most prominent event of the Spanish ceramic industry, complemented every year by new exhibitors from other countries, inspired to take part by the fair’s ongoing expansion and the palpable recovery of Spain’s domestic market.

The 37th edition of the fair, an essential meeting for distributors, promoters, architects and designers in the international sphere, will take place from 28th January to 1th February 2018 at Feria Valencia where the latest innovations from all sectors related to the ceramic sector.

In order to attract more audience to the fair, CEVISAMA’ 19 Lab, Cevisama’s ideas powerhouse, is one again set to feature some eminent names in architecture and interior design such as the Pritzker Prize Jacques Herzog, Enrique Sobejano, Carme Pinós, Dominique Perrault, Ángela García de Paredes and Josep Ricard. The second Forum of Architecture and Design will be taking place the days 29 and 30 January in Feria Valencia.

Kate Newby at Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz

20.01.2019 Art

New Zealand artist Kate Newby, creates handmade, crudely constructed sculptural interventions appropriating the materials and vernaculars of architecture. Kate Newby’s works are poetic confrontations with spatial conditions and the fleeting nature of interactions. Through small as well as radical interventions into existing environments, she directs our view to what is often overlooked in everyday life. The objects she creates are testimonials to individual experiences, with the specific context of creation remaining inseparably linked to the resulting work.

For the exhibition “I can’t nail the days down” at Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, Kate Newby continues her ongoing engagement with ephemeral and often peripheral situations. Therefore she created a large-scale work installed on the floor in the Karlsplatz building, using bricks as artistic material. The sculpture unfolds as a material texture that invites visitors to step onto the work, to move across the surface and encounter its details. The artist modified unfired bricks and inserted found elements: shattered glass, old coins and bits of clay collected, that through the firing process unexpected formations are produced.

Kate Newby at Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz

Ceramic Tiles for the V&A Museum

15.01.2019 Innovation

An open courtyard whit a purpose-built gallery for its world-class temporary exhibitions is the project of Amanda Levete studio  for the new entrance of Victoria and Albert Museum.

This choice of material responds specifically to the structure of the original building of the museum and its collections, including numerous striking examples of 19th-century decorated ceramics. Therefore, ceramic was selected for the courtyard floor for its fine texture, its bright white color and its inherent strength. 30 different models partly glazed in 10 shades from blue to green were designed in more than 100 versions.

It took two years, working closely with Koninklijke Tichelaar company, to finalize the tile design and to develop a clay recipe that ensured non-slip performance. Besides, it took another two years to pass the required British Standards, to test tile longevity and to manufacture, by hand, the 14,500 tiles. Each tile bears the mark of the craftsman through subtle variations of shape and shade. Watch this video to see how these tiles were made.

Tile of Spain Awards 2018

25.11.2018 Event

The verdict of 2018’s Tile of Spain Awards took place on 24th of November in Castellón, with the prestigious architect Jorge Silvetti as the jury chairman and Ricardo Carvalho, Elías Torres, Jordi Garcés, Belén Moneo, Mario Ruiz and Ramón Monfort as other jury members.

This year, the architect Joan Miquel Seguí Colomar was the winner of the 17th ASCER’s Tile of Spain Award’s first prize for their project “New entrance to the intermodal station” in Palma in the Architecture category. The project is a transitional space where the use of the Mediterranean tradition of the latticework as a filter between the urban space and the station itself is recovered.

In the Interior Design category, the judges decided to award first prize to the project “House facing the sea” by Xavier Martí and Lucía Ferrater in which the jury assesses the presence of ceramic flooring as a line of connection between the different spaces. Finally, in the Degree Project category the winner was “A good success” by Manuel Bouzas Barcala from ETSA Madrid.

The Art of Thinking through Architecture

21.11.2018 Art

Athos Bulcão (1918-2008). He was a Brazilian Plastic Artist who began to devote himself to the plastic arts after he left his medical degree. He studied drawing and lithography at the Académie de La Grande Chaumière in Paris, up becoming, thanks to his impeccable order to paint, his intelligent and precise way of intervening with the tradition of tiles in buildings or urban space, in the perfect relationship between art and architecture.

Influenced by Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, Miró, Portinari or Van Gogh, the Brazilian artist collaborated with several architects, including Oscar Niemeyer and João Filgueiras, designing tile panels for the buildings of the new city of Brasilia.

Since 1992, the Athos Bulcão Foundation has been dedicated to preserving and disseminating the work of the plastic artist, developing various projects to promote, through art, culture and communication, the social development of the entire community.

The Art of Thinking through Architecture

The world begins after every kiss

10.11.2018 Art

The photographer Joan Fontcuberta and the ceramist Antoni Cumella have come together to make this photomosaic mural located in Plaza de Isidre Nonell in Barcelona on the occasion of the Tercentenary of the fall of Barcelona in 1714.

This work has been made with the contribution of thousands of citizens. Pictures were collected after a call to the citizens to participate in this collaborative art project. They have sent personal images whose required theme was ‘moments of freedom’. With them, 4000 ceramic tiles were formed, distributed in 50 rows of 80 tiles each, which together form the image of kissing lips. Joan Fontcuberta said that it had been inspired by a phrase by Oliver Wendell Holmes “The noise of a kiss is not as deafening as a cannon, but its echo is more lasting.”

Demonstrator LIFE CERSUDS

30.10.2018 Innovation

The LIFE CERSUDS demonstrator in Benicasim (Castellón) is a European project for the adaptation of cities to climate change. It develops an urban system of sustainable drainage from the reuse of ceramic tiles of low commercial value. The reduction of CO2 emissions associated to the manufacturing of pavements thanks to recycling the material of the ceramic stock, the decrease of the sealed floor areas in the cities, the recovery of natural infiltration systems to avoid flooding and the reduction of the heating known as “heat island” effect, are the aims to which this project will give response providing qualified and verifiable results.

This video shows the manufacturing process of the ceramic drainage pavement as well as its execution and implementation at the Benicasim demonstrator.


Porcelain Insulator Factory

26.10.2018 Innovation

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the porcelain insulator virtually replaced glass on all electrical distribution, even at low voltages, as the superiority was demonstrated in both insulation quality and strength.

In this post, we want to share with you a video about how the company PINCO produced porcelain insulators for power lines in 1935. We hope you enjoy it!

Interview to Ramon Bosch

15.10.2018 Interview

We share with you an interesting interview with Ramon Bosch from bosch.capdeferro Arquitectura on his Collage House in Girona. It is part of the exhibition Brick by Brick. Ceramics applied to architecture hold in the Museo del Diseño de Barcelona from September 2016 until January 2017.

Renovation always means establishing a relationship with the past, with the pasts that are accumulated in the space of the intervention. And also with the future, with that imaginary idea of the place we would like to aim. But above all it means a great capacity to work with the present. To erase or to draw: to eliminate, clean, repair, reconstruct, replace, incorporate, add…

Magnetism Meets Architecture

02.10.2018 Innovation

Confronting gravity’s determinism over everyday life, the Dutch designer Jólan van der Wiel set out to manipulate this natural phenomenon by exploiting its own power: magnetism. Van der Wiel developed a machine that uses the shape shifting ability of magnetism to create objects and furniture. For his Magnetism Meets Architecture project, he has created a series of ceramic objects using a process that exploits the conflicting properties of natural materials and processes. His latest experiments with magnets have resulted in fantastical architectural models made using metallic clay.

Breath marks

19.09.2018 Design

This project conceives the idea of transforming an underused incineration plant into a warm local resting place, by infusing people’s breath. Breath marks is a public art collaborative project at Doosan Elementary School in Doksan, Seoul. Jaechan Yang, the director  of Urban Society, and the artist Sun Choi proposed the idea of covering its façade with 3000 handcrafted tiles, that hold local people’s breaths, collected traces of blown inks. Eventually this visualized breaths become the incineration plant itself.
You can watch the whole process in this video.

Breath marks

Cota Zero

10.09.2018 Design

The studio Can Ran arquitectura are the authors of the plastic intervention in the new atrium of Estação Sul and Sueste. It is part of the project for the expansion and remodeling of the Fluvial Station of the South and Sueste in Lisbon, the 1932 project of the architect Cottinelli Telmo. This extension, whose author is Atelier Daciano da Costa, aims to transform the Fluvial station into Interface, creating in this building the connection between the metropolitan and the Transtejo ships.

The support of this ceramic intervention, manufactured by Viúva Lamego, is the ceiling and column assembly of the new Atrium of the Interface. It is intended that it develops in an inseparable way of space, merging it with architecture, but at the same time stands out and reinforces it. The ceiling with the dimensions of 17m by 23m is loose from the walls, has a right foot of 5.6m and is supported by 8 columns of 0.60m in diameter. Underneath this roof the stairs of access to the metropolitan emerge.

Tile of Spain Awards 2018. Open call

06.09.2018 Event

The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association, ASCER, organizes the competition for the Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design. The prizes aim to improve awareness and understanding of ceramic tiles made in Spain amongst architects and interior designers and promote their use by these professionals.

The jury for this sixteenth edition is made up of internationally-acclaimed professionals working in the architecture and design sectors: Jorge Silvetti (chairman), Ricardo Carvalho, Elías Torres, Jordi Garcés, Belén Moneo, Mario Ruiz and Ramón Monfort.

In the previous edition, the award in the architecture category went to the project Mont-Ras Winery by Jorge Vidal and Víctor Rahola. The 3 metro stations L9 Barcelona by Garcés – de Seta – Bonet arquitectes.

PlatFORM exhibition at Tate Liverpool

23.08.2018 Event

Join Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory (ECAlab) for an immersive and sculptural presentation in Tate Exchange from 22-30 September. Drop in anytime and play, create and experience PlatFORM – a multi-sensory, glowing sculpture that responds to movement and the human touch.

Accompanying PlatFORM’s Tate Exchange showcase will be a symposium that brings together architects, artists, industry professionals, engineers, researchers and the public to discuss emerging thinking and ceramic futures. Find out more and book your free place here.

The Factory Floor

16.08.2018 Design

The Factory Floor is an installation of 8,000 handmade ceramic floor tiles that cover the new floor of the Chini Room at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.

The installation presents the latest experimental production method to be developed by Granby Workshop, the Liverpool based architectural ceramics manufacturer set up by Assemble in 2015. Reinventing the traditional encaustic clay tile-making process, these tiles are made by randomly combining pieces of different coloured clays in a mould under extreme pressure. Each one captures a moment of chance in the act of making and they are all different. You can see the process here

All images and video credited to Granby Workshop and Assemble.

The Factory Floor


12.08.2018 Event

CERSAIE is the major international showcase for the latest trends in the ceramic and bathroom design sector. The world’s greatest ceramic exhibition will be taking place once again in the Italian city of Bologna from 24 to 28 September 2017, which constitutes a meeting point for the most innovative brands from all across the globe.

For decades, this Bologna fair has contributed to the prestige of ceramic materials and has inspired a great deal of highly demanding architectural, design and interior design projects. As a result, the Bologna fair has risen to become the greatest showcase for state-of-the-art trends in ceramics, glazing, bathroom ware and furniture.

Interview to Eugeni Bach

09.08.2018 Interview

We share with you an interesting interview which is part of the exhibition Brick by Brick. Ceramics applied to architecture, hold in the Museo del Diseño de Barcelona from September 2016 until January 2017. Eugeni Bach explains his project Housing Casp 74 St. in Barcelona.

Mobile Robotic Tiling

02.08.2018 Innovation

Adapting to material tolerances and an uncertain environment of a construction site are key aspects in the research and development of a mobile tiling machine. These challenges are met through integrating specific perception and localisation strategies into the robotic control. The research is conducted by ROB Technologies in collaboration with Gramazio Kohler Research and the Singapore ETH Centre.

Olivier van Herpt Functional 3D Printed Ceramics

12.07.2018 Innovation

By pushing the limits of existing 3D printing technologies, Olivier van Herpt has arrived at machines that produce larger forms and work with materials beyond conventional plastics. Out of paraffin and even clay, he has printed collections of objects that soften the precise and indifferent definition of industrial design. Vases seemingly handwoven by the hands of individual artisans, ceramics crafted with random imperfections, and pottery shaped by the environment they were made in. These manufactured objects demonstrate how van Herpt reinserts humanity into the man-made machine.

Olivier van Herpt Functional 3D Printed Ceramics

Jørgen Hansen. Firingsculptures

05.07.2018 Art

Jørgen Hansen started as a ceramic artist in 1965. For many years he was doing handmade, mostly thrown pottery and at a certain point he felt the need for a more extensive expression and in 1994 he made his first Firingsculpture for a museum in Denmark.

The Firingsculptures are built in 1-3 weeks in a continuous process. They are made out of concentric terracotta lattice walls, one behind the other and with openings of different kinds. Inside there’s space left for combustible that will set the core on fire.

The climax takes place when the sculpture, wrapped in insulation, becomes its own kiln and fires to 1000-1200 centigrades. At this stage the insulation is taken away and for short intense moments the sculpture glows from the inside with the most luminous light and unusual visual phenomenons happen.

“My Firingsculpture can resonate the site where it is built. When the sculpture is glowing you feel both the instant and the entire period of the project from the first step on the bare ground until its complete erosion. It is about time and everything’s perpetual change”.


Architectural Terra Cotta

21.06.2018 Publication

Gladding, McBean, in Lincoln, is one of the oldest companies in California and a pioneer in ceramics technology which has contributed immeasurably to the state’s industrialization. During the heyday of architectural terra cotta, the company dominated the industry in the Far West.

The book Architectural Terra Cotta of Gladding, McBean, by Gary F. Kurutz and Mary Swisher, is a remarkable photographic collection of this pre-eminent producer of decorative terra cotta from 1890 to 1930. It showcases over 100 photographs, including neo-classic motifs of the earliest San Francisco skyscrapers to ornaments of Art Deco Hollywood palaces. Some of these photographs can be seen in detail on our slideshow.

The photographer Mary Swisher selected, printed and cared for a collection of over 10,000 negatives, while the historian Gary F. Kurutz put together an informative and entertaining text about the history of the company. The result is an unmissable publication for lovers of architecture, photography and industrial archaeology.

Architectural Terra Cotta

Ocean Blues

14.06.2018 Art

In this claymation for Stevanna Jackson (from the musically talented Jackson family), the French artist Romane Granger uses carefully modeled clay to suggest the complex ecosystem of life on the ocean’s floor. In Oceans Blues, the coils and folds of clay shift in tune with Jackson’s music as waves, flower-like designs and human characters emerge from the sea.

Interview to Toni Gironès

10.06.2018 Interview

We share with you an interesting interview which is part of the exhibition Brick by Brick. Ceramics applied to architecture, hold in the Museo del Diseño de Barcelona from September 2016 until January 2017. The Catalan architect, Toni Gironès, explains his project Dolmen transmitter space in Seró.

Clay Station

24.05.2018 Design

Clay Station is a collaboration between Assemble and the artist Matthew Raw commissioned by Art on the Underground.

Building on London Underground’s rich heritage of ceramics, the project involves the production of more than a thousand hand-made tiles as part of the refurbishment and remodelling of a commercial unit at the entrance to Seven Sisters Underground Station which has lain empty for more than a decade.

This technique entails colouring blocks of plain white clay with body stain and mixing together different combinations before they are sized, rolled, moulded, cut, dried, fired and glazed. The resulting tiles formed from this process will be used to clad the exterior of the building and each one will be unique.

Ceramic pieces of Casa Vicens

15.05.2018 Design

The ceramics from Casa Vicens are one of its most recognisable elements. Can you imagine discovering the process of creating tiles with carnations, the yellow flowers that cover the house’s façades? Led by the master artisan ceramist Manel Diestre, director of the process to restore Casa Vicens’ ceramic pieces, in this video you’ll discover the process of creating artisanal carnation azulejo tiles with the original trepa (transfer-printing) technique.

LIFE CERSUDS. Permeable ceramic paving

10.05.2018 Innovation

The project LIFE CERSUDS, Ceramic Sustainable Urban Drainage System, funded by the European Commission through the LIFE programme, is developing a sustainable urban drainage system (SuDS) that uses ceramic tiles of low commercial value as a flooring filter system.

The main aim of the project is to enhance city adaptability to climate change and to foster the use of SuDS and green infrastructure. This will be done by designing and implementing a SuDS demonstrator. The demonstrator, envisaged for Benicasim (Castellón), involves the construction of a sustainable urban drainage system via the development of a permeable ceramic flooring, using ceramic tiles of low commercial value. The space foreseen for the demonstrator consists of a street section with light and pedestrian traffic in an established urban setting of about 3000 m2.


08.05.2018 Innovation

The Droneport project explores the generation of a drone airport network combining the dynamic futurism of drone technology with low-tech buildings that use local materials and traditional building techniques. The network aims to interconnect communities in developing countries that lack appropriate road or rail networks, enabling urgent medical supplies and cargo to be delivered quickly and cost-effectively.

The construction of a prototype droneport shell at the 2016 Architecture Biennale of Venice was made possible by The Norman Foster Foundation together with the Block Research Group (ETH Zurich), plus the support of the LafargeHolcim Foundation. They have developed a high strength, local earth-based product, called Durabric, specifically for the project.


03.05.2018 Event

Representatives of industry and academia from around the world gather in Buffalo, NY for the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW), presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo‘s School of Architecture and Planning and supported by the UB Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART).

The workshop’s objective is to introduce and consider the properties of terra cotta earlier in the architect’s design process and to develop research and design models between manufacturing and architectural industries useful to the efficient production of facade solutions.

The ACAWorkshop culminates in a weeklong event, with teams constructing system models from their prototypes, and presenting their studies to peers in the industry.

For more details go to ACAW 2018 Event Website.


Sculptural terracotta enclosure by SHoP

19.04.2018 Design

These ondulating blocks were manufactured and stacked together to create ‘WAVE/CAVE’, with the aim of providing visitors with a moment of intimacy.

The installation was designed by SHoP architects for Interni Magazine’s Material Immaterial exhibition, which took place as part of Milan Design Week 2017.

Made up of 1,670 extruded unglazed terracotta blocks, the work stands at 10 meters high at its tallest point. Each block has been individually carved, and while they appear complete on the outside, the inside of the installation reveals an intricate pattern created by volume subtraction.

Coverings’ 18

12.04.2018 Event

For almost thirty years, Coverings has been the preeminent event for the ceramic tile & natural stone industry in North America. Visitors from every facet of the tile & stone industry find that Coverings is the one event that drives their success, year after year. All in one venue, see thousands of dazzling products, connect with suppliers from around the globe and discover ground-breaking techniques, tips and tricks.

Covering will be taking place from 8-11 May in the Georgia World Congress Center.


Elfsteden Monument

05.04.2018 Art

‘It sil heve’ are the legendary words that were uttered in 1985 when the ‘race of all races’ was able to be held once again after a gap of 22 years. The idea for the project is a picture, which from a distance appears to be a row of skaters helping each other and keeping each other out of the wind, a characteristic scene from the Elfstedentocht (a race on skates passing through 11 Frisian towns). Seen close up, the tiles depict thousands of portraits of all the skaters that have ever finished the race.

The artistic duo of Maree Blok and Bas Lugthart approached Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum to handle the production process, which involved baking the photos onto the tiles using a screen-printing process.

The project was carried out on the Canterlandse bridge, the last bridge the skaters have to pass under in the Elfsteden route before reaching the finish a few kilometres further in Leeuwarden.

Elfsteden Monument

The charm of repetition

30.03.2018 Event

Under the motto ARTESANÍA: INNOVACIÓN | REVOLUCIÓN | PROYECCIÓN on April 12 will be held the III Jornada de Creatividad y Tendencias, organized by the Museum of Design of Barcelona. During the day, there will be different workshops related to handicrafts, among which we highlight the Design workshop for tiles: the charm of repetition, by Bussoga + Isabel Fernández del Moral.

From the background of ceramic work of the Museum of Design, various mathematical compositions will be studied to design prints. It will be based on the objects of the Museum as a source of inspiration and the personal work of the creatives to deepen the analysis and new proposals of the artisan, industrial and digital production.

Interview to Vicenç Sarrablo

23.03.2018 Interview

We share with you an interesting interview which is part of the exhibition Brick by Brick. Ceramics applied to architecture, hold in the Museo del Diseño de Barcelona from September 2016 until January 2017. Vicenç Sarrablo, Director of the Ceramics Chair of Barcelona talks about the multiple uses and advantages of ceramics.

Ai Weiwei. Sunflower Seeds

20.03.2018 Art

The Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, challenges our first impressions with his installation Sunflower Seeds: what you see is not what you see, and what you see is not what it means. The sculptural installation is made up of what appear to be millions of sunflower seed husks, apparently identical but actually unique. Although they look realistic, each seed is made out of porcelain. And far from being industrially produced, ‘readymade’ or found objects, they have been intricately hand-crafted by hundreds of skilled artisans.

Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space at Tate Modern, the seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape. The precious nature of the material, the effort of production and the narrative and personal content create a powerful commentary on the human condition.

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion

12.03.2018 Innovation

The University of Hong Kong’s Department of Architecture has collaborated with the Sino Group to create Ceramic Constellation Pavilion.

The structure seeks to expand contemporary views on architectural construction by creating a 3.8 meter tall pavilion made entirely of 3D printed terracotta bricks, dispensing with tradictional brick-bonding techniques. Instead, the structure’s load-bearing features and overall stability are made possible by each brick’s unique shape and placement.

The overall structure is composed of 2,000 3D printed terracotta bricks. Over the period of 3 weeks 700 kg of raw terracotta clay were 3D printed into individual bricks. Each brick required between 2 and 3 minutes of printing time. The fresh prints the underwent an intensive firing process, baking for an extended period of time at 1025 degrees Celsius. This process makes the pavilion one of the first in its kind that incorporates this specific material system.

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion

Museum & Mosaic Park in Jinzhou

05.03.2018 Design

The project represents the paradigm of the contemporary urban park, which is neither a fragment of the natural landscape nor a landscaped piece of the city, but the mix of both of them. Museum & Mosaic Park has an hybrid character that combines architecture with landscape, and nature with artifice.

On the one hand, the use of broken local ceramic pieces of different colours for the materialization of the pavement and benches of the park and for the facades of the museum evokes the mosaic tradition that was widespread throughout Europe by the Roman Empire and that has evolved along history till the present day bringing technical solutions such as the trecandís technique used by the Catalan modernist architects.

On the other hand, the geometry of the park is inspired by the crackled glaze of the Chinese porcelain developed from the 10th century during the Song Dynasty in the Ru Ware and Ge Ware ceramic pieces. The Mosaic park and the Ceramic Museum remind citizens that the Jinzhou region was once a production area of ceramic and porcelain, although this tradition was lost for centuries, being nowadays forgotten.

Antony Gormley. FIELD

26.02.2018 Art

FIELD is a project by British sculptor Antony Gormley uses the human form to explore man’s existence in and relation to the world through the earth. ”From the beginning I was trying to make something as direct as possible with clay: the earth. I wanted to work with people and to make a work about our collective future and our responsibility for it. I wanted the art to look back at us, its makers (and later viewers), as if we were responsible. Responsible for the world that it (FIELD) and we were in. I have made it with help 5 times in different parts of the world.

The most recent is from Guangzhou, China, and was exhibited in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing in 2003. It is made from 125 tonnes of clay energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes.

The 210,000 body-surrogates completely occupy the space in which they are installed, taking the form of the building and excluding us, but allowing visual access. It is always seen from a single threshold. The dimensions of the viewing area are equivalent to no less than one sixth of the total floor area of the piece. This viewing area is completely empty. The viewer then mediates between the occupied and unoccupied areas of a given building. I like the idea of the physical area occupied being put at the service of the imaginative space of the witness.” Interview with the sculptor Antony Gormley about FIELD.

Antony Gormley. FIELD

Making Porcelain Insulators

20.02.2018 Innovation

General Electric made an industrial short in the 1920s, a silent film that shows how the company produces porcelain insulators for power lines.

Porcelain insulators of this time period were made from china clay, ball clay, flint, and feldspar. In the dry process, ingredients are pulverized and screened to a fine powder and then pressed into moulds. Once moulded, they are trimmed by hand to remove fins and flashing. The pieces are then spray-glazed while spinning on a vertical lathe.

We share with you this version of the short, edited with the addition of some playful ragtime music. We hope you enjoy it!

Substància Cremada

16.02.2018 Art

“The Substància Cremada project by Milena Villalba focuses on the abandoned ceramic factories located in Onda (Castellón). It’s a research line related to the abandoned industrial heritage and the obsolescence of these buildings.

Their print on the population is strong, there was a time when the whole town lived into the rhythm of the factories’ shifts and the baking times of the ovens. These pictures build a document where all the details are legible, and unfortunately this is the only thing we are going to have from them in a few years if nothing is done because the degradation rate is increasing year after year.”

Substància Cremada, Milena Villalba

Substància Cremada

VII Congreso Internacional de Cerámica y Arquitectura

06.02.2018 Event

The School of Architecture of Madrid hosts the 27th and 28th of February the VII International Congress of Ceramics and Architecture under the slogan ‘Ceramic and Soil’, a title that should be considered as a suggestion, but not excludes proposals from other fields related to non-structural ceramics. The event is part of the Network of Ceramic Chairs promoted by ASCER.

On the one hand, the ambition of this congress is to place ceramics in an architectural context from a historical-artistic perspective; and on the other, his intention is to promulgate the work of contemporary architects who have used ceramics in their works.


Art and technology at Villa Nurbs

25.01.2018 Innovation

Nature and technology come together to create a perfect combination in Villa Nurbs, work of an unconventional house designed by CLOUD9 in collaboration with the ceramist Toni Cumella and the artist Frederic Amat, who has intervened in each of the ceramic pieces through the application of enamels.

The building is covered by a ceramic skin that proposes a new way of conceiving the facade in the field of architecture. It consists of a series of ceramic pieces designed so that, taken together, they function as if they were a plant wall. According to the orientation, this skin has the ability to isolate the building from unfavorable environmental conditions and to protect it against insolation, rain or strong winds. At the same time, it is permeable to the breeze. A system of tensioned cables in the form of a network that rests on the metallic structure of the facade serves as support for these ceramic pieces. Both elements define the outer layer of the façade.


New life for Paolozzi mosaics

15.01.2018 Art

The restoration of Eduardo Paolozzi’s iconic mosaics at Tottenham Court Road station has been completed.

Paolozzi was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement, and this mosaics, from 1986, are widely considered to be one of the most spectacular examples of post-war public art. The designs, that cover 950 square metres, contain references to London’s culture and economy.

Around 95 percent of the mosaics have been retained at the station while it underwent a huge expansion. Wherever possible the original tiles have been reused, and where new tiles have been required they have been closely colour-matched using the same process as the originals. The sections that could not be relocated were transported to the renowned Edinburgh College of Art.


08.01.2018 Event

The International Fair for Architectural Ceramic, Bathroom and Kitchens CEVISAMA, has established itself as the most prominent event of the Spanish ceramic industry. The last edition of the fair, titled CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY took place from 5th to 9th February 2018 at Feria Valencia and showcased the the newest offers and innovations from all sectors concerning the ceramic field. An essential meeting for distributors, promoters, architects and designers in the international sphere.

Architecture and Design Forum

08.01.2018 Event

The line-up of speakers at the Architecture and Design Forum that is part of Cevisama Lab, Cevisama’s ideas powerhouse, is one again set to feature some eminent names in architecture  and interior design, as the Pritzker Prize Rafael Moneo and the Portuguese Eduardo Souto de Moura. The Forum will be taking place the days 5 and 6 February under the theme ‘Material Architecture’ in the North Forum Assembly Hall of Feria Valencia as an integral part of the 36th edition of Cevisama.


28.12.2017 Event

The World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality QUALICER, biennial event, will be held in February 2018 at the Chamber of Commerce of Castellón. International leaders of the ceramic tile manufacturing industry will be debating the need for strategic conditions and industrial policies that make industrial investment feasible.

Kengo Kuma on his Ceramic Cloud

21.12.2017 Interview

CCCloud (Casalgrande Ceramic Cloud) was Kengo Kuma’s first built work of architecture in Italy and it was completed in September 2010. The monument, located in the middle of a roundabout in front of Casalgrande Padana‘s Headquarters, is the collaborative result of Kengo Kuma’s team, the University represented by Alfonso Acocella and Luigi Alini, and Casalgrande Padana.

The completed structure is 12 meters tall and is a maximum of 1.7 meters wide at the central section. It is composed of nine layers of porcelain stoneware slabs that. This tiles measure 60 x 120 cm and are stacked and held in place by thin threaded bars. Traditionally used as cladding, the ceramic tiles are used in this monument for the first time as a structural component.

Here we share with you an interesting interview with Kengo Kuma on his Ceramic Cloud.


ECALAB and RIBA North present CERÁMICA

14.12.2017 Design

CERÁMICA, a ground-breaking new exhibition at RIBA North supported by ASCER, explores the future use of ceramics and technology in architecture. From 28 October 2017 to 10 February 2018, a series of full-scale installations by ECAlab (Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory) will enliven RIBA’s new centre on the Liverpool waterfront.

The exhibition seeks to highlight how traditional ceramic techniques and digital engineering processes can be used together to produce more significant and sustainable architectural elements.

One of the main events of CERÁMICA is a symposium on architecture and ceramics that will be held on 8 December 2017 under the title of Molding Futures: Architectural Ceramics Symposium. Experts like Martin Bechthold (director of the Harvard’s GSD), Eric Parry or Maximiliano Arrocet (Amanda Levete Architects) are among the scheduled speakers.

Parisian Floors. Ceramic at your feet

29.11.2017 Art

German photographer Sebastian Erras’ Instagram account (Parisian Floors) showcases the bright and beautiful floor tiles of Paris and other cities. Intricate historic mosaics and colourful worn off hidraulic tiles are often the main characters of these pictures. In all of them his shoes peep out, giving a sense of scale and reminding us that sometimes it is ok to look down.

Parisian Floors. Ceramic at your feet

Tile of Spain Awards 2017. Winners

25.11.2017 Event

The veredict of 2017’s Tile of Spain Awards took place on 24th of November in Castellón, with the prestigious architect Iñaki Ábalos as the jury chairman and Ángela García de Paredes, Víctor Navarro, Bak Gordon, Moisés Puente, Martín Azúa and Ramón Monfort as other jury members.

The architects Víctor Rahola and Jorge Vidal were the winners of the 16th ASCER’s Tile of Spain Award’s first prize for their project Mont-Ras Winery in Girona in the Architecture category. Mont-Ras Winery is a space evolving from the essence of wine, ground and grapes. It was designed as a platform inside the earth with four main spaces and a roof-garden, taking in consideration all the specific conditions required for the wine production and conservation. The jury highlighted the appropriate use of the materials to the industrial and also rustic character of the program and its adaptation to different geometries.

In the Interior Design category the judges decided to award first prize to the project Three metro stations L9 Barcelona by Garcés-de Seta-Bonet Arquitectes. In the Degree Project category the winner was Un jardín de paisajes: recuperación del entorno de la Muralla Zirí en el Albaicín by Rafael López-Toribio Moreno from ETSA Granada.

Ceramic poppies at Tower of London

15.11.2017 Art

This art installation Blood Swept Lands an Seas of Red at the Tower of London marked one hundred years since the first day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s moat between July and November of 2014. Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war.

The poppies encircled the iconic landmark, creating not only a spectacular display but also a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation was intended to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary and create a powerful visual commemoration.

The ceramic pieces were manufactured with techniques used by potters during the First World War (Making the poppies). After the installations all the poppies were sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally amongst six service charities.

Eco-friendly low energy cooling installation

14.11.2017 Innovation

The temperature during the day doesn’t seem to stop rising in Indian summers, and installing big air conditioning systems is uneconomical and energy inefficient for a majority of the population. Working under such heated conditions takes a toll on the health of the employees, a problem which was also faced at the factory of Deki Electronics in Uttar Pradesh.

Excessive heat released from the Genset at the entrance in the external area of the factory had reduced productivity to a minimum. It was also heating up the entire driveway making the exterior envelope of the building hotter, hence reducing its efficiency and increasing air conditioning load of the building. A sustainable and inexpensive alternative was required, and the team at Ant Studio used the old method of Evaporative cooling to provide a low energy and effective solution. This technique, tracing back to the Egyptian period, cools down surroundings with the help of water and local materials.

The thrust of hot air facilitates the cooling when used a fan mechanism. Evaporative cooling needs air force. This design uses the air velocity from the genset to its advantage.

The design was inspired by the structure of a beehive, using environment-friendly earthen cones to create an aesthetic prototype. The design and size of the conical components were customised through advanced computational analysis and modern calibration techniques. The geometry of the pots and the stacked form provided a larger surface area for cooling while also ensuring that the air does not bounce back to the Genset. This was achieved by aligning the stacking of the pots to the air flow.

Eco-friendly low energy cooling installation

Tile of Spain Awards 2017. Open call

05.10.2017 Event

The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association, ASCER, organizes the competition for the Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design. The prizes aim to improve awareness and understanding of ceramic tiles made in Spain amongst architects and interior designers and promote their use by these professionals.

The jury for this sixteenth edition is made up of internationally-acclaimed professionals working in the architecture and design sectors: Iñaki Ábalos (chairman), Ángela García de Paredes, Víctor Navarro, Bak Gordon, Moisés Puente, Martín Azúa and Ramón Monfort. Jury’s veredict will be announced on 24th November.

In the previous edition, the award in the architecture category went to a renovation project for Two homes in Oropesa (Toledo) by  Paredes Pedrosa studio. The TABA espazioa gastro space by Ibon Salaberria received the Interior Design award. Access to the video summary of last edition.


15.09.2017 Event

CERSAIE is the major international showcase for the latest trends in the ceramic and bathroom design sector. The world’s greatest ceramic exhibition will be taking place once again in the Italian city of Bologna from 25 to 29 September 2017, which constitutes a meeting point for the most innovative brands from all across the globe.

For decades, this Bologna fair has contributed to the prestige of ceramic materials and has inspired a great deal of highly demanding architectural, design and interior design projects. As a result, the Bologna fair has risen to become the greatest showcase for state-of-the-art trends in ceramics, glazing, bathroom ware and furniture.

Archivo Pavilion by Pedro&Juana

27.07.2017 Design

The winning proposal of the inaugural competition launched by Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura for a temporary public pavilion to be built next to the institution’s main building in México materializes in a heap of terracotta vases with variable configurations, evoking domestic Mexican references and Luis Barragán’s passion for gardens.

“Clay has existed for centuries and it is here to stay, we could even call it an emergent material something that every civilization discovered on their own, and therefor has been the story teller, witness, and evidence of many lives and households. It has been part of design, since before design existed, and it has always been part of Mexican life.” Pedro&Juana

All images credited to Adam Wiseman and Moritz-Bernoully

Archivo Pavilion by Pedro&Juana

Gio Ponti. L’Infinito Blu

25.02.2017 Design

2017’s Triennale di Milano presented the exhibition GIO PONTI: L’INFINITO BLU, dedicated to the ceramic tile designs for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, as well as notes, drawings and photographs of the creative process.

The collection of 33 ‘Blu Ponti’ tiles in 20×20 format was composed of the 27 models used at the hotel, with the addition of five patterns that were never produced and an another one unpublished that was discovered in the archives of the original manufacturer Ceramica D’Agostino. The tiles have been reproduced by Ceramica Francesco De Maio for the occasion.

Alongside this article there is a suggestive animation produced by LIXIL Group (Tokyo) in 2014 for the exhibition Giving Warmth to the Building Skin, The World of Gio Ponti, Father of Modern Italian Design.

Tile of Spain Awards 2016. Winners

17.02.2017 Event

The architects Paredes Pedrosa were awarded the ASCER’s Tile of Spain prize for their project Two homes in Oropesa in the Architecture category. The veredict took place on 24th November 2016 in Castellón, with the prestigious architect Gonçalo Byrne as the jury chairman.

The project addressed a meticulous restoration and reuse of ruins crossed by walls and arches from an ancient connection between the castle and the village church. Although the use of ceramic has a reserved character, its careful layout and finishes give the space a determining touch of warmth and timelessness.

Paredes Pedrosa won in 2004 the third edition of these awards for Peñíscola’s Congress Centre and obtained in 2011 a honourable mention for Gandia’s Kid University.

First prize in the Interior Design category went to  TABA espazioa by Ibon Salaberria and the first prize in the Final Degree Project category went to In-Situ: Tools and Technology in Traditional Architecture by M Wesam Al Asali.


10.02.2017 Event

The International Fair for Architectural Ceramic, Bathroom and Kitchens CEVISAMA, has established itself as the most prominent event of the Spanish ceramic industry. The 2017’s edition of the fair, titled PERFECT FUTURE, took place at Feria Valencia from 20th to 24th February 2017 and showcased the the newest offers and innovations from all sectors concerning the ceramic…

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Feats of clay

24.12.2016 -

In a converted farmhouse in rural Buckinghamshire architects, artists and designers are using robotic arms and potter’s wheels to experiment with clay. Bartlett PhD graduate and MArch GAD tutor Dr Guan Lee and Slade artist and researcher Dr Eleanor Morgan work with local communities and research institutions, students and makers to identify ways in which robotic clay dispensers can work with traditional building methods. They explore the trial and error processes involved in creating new forms from an old material and the lively possibilities of clay. Through this communal and collaborative approach, the Grymsdyke Farm is a place where people can exchange ideas, working methods, interests and expertise.

As the follies, have accrued, so the workshops have expanded and they now include everything from a CNC milling machine to 3D-printers, water-jet cutters to ceramics kilns, laser-cutters to casting studios – and a gigantic robotic arm.

In 2014 Guan Lee and Eleanor Morgan, were awarded a prestigious RIBA Research Trust Award for their project «Clay Robotics: Sustainable practice in a digital world». A two-year practice-led research project will reconsider the extraction and use of local clay deposits by combining traditional expertise with robotic technologies. Focusing on the geological and cultural sites of clay beds in Buckinghamshire, the aim of the project is to advance sustainable and site-responsive architecture.