Canadian Architect


Ryerson ServiceHub by Gow Hastings wins Honourable Mention in Ceramics Competition

June 7, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Ryerson ServiceHub. Photo by Tom Arban.

Ryerson ServiceHub. Photo by Tom Arban.

Now in its 24th year, the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition – the longest-running award program of its kind – has announced six projects that wholly represent the competition’s goal of honouring the admirable use of Italian tile in North American architecture and design.

Sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency, the competition attracted high-quality submissions in each of the three categories: residential, commercial, and institutional. An international jury of design industry experts reviewed and evaluated the projects, ultimately selecting three winners and three honourable mentions among the steep competition.

Ryerson ServiceHub. Photo by Tom Arban.

Ryerson ServiceHub. Photo by Tom Arban.

Among the recognized projects was one Canadian entry: The Ryerson University ServiceHub in Toronto, Ontario. Winner of the Institutional Honourable Mention, the building was designed by Gow Hastings Architects, alongside Casalgrande Padana (Tile Manufacturer), Stone Tile International (Distributor), and Twin Contracting (Contractor). Ryerson University engaged Gow Hastings Architects to transform a 1970s Brutalist building into a contemporary centralized hub for student services. Gow Hastings chose the Architecture collection by Casalgrande Padana to provide a sleek tile floor that would complement the contemporary lines of the space and also hold up against the many students and faculty that would be walking through each day. Large format tiles were selected in two distinct tones and arranged in alternating diagonals across the space. The ease of installing the tiles in this pattern allowed the architects to visually expand the space with great ease. Gow Hastings was particularly drawn to the unique colours, texture, and lustre of the Architecture collection.

The jury selected the winners of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition using the following criteria: the creative and effective use of Italian tile, the overall quality of the installation, the aesthetic beauty and functionality of the design, and the sustainable attributes of the overall project and materials used. Though vastly different in scale and aesthetic, the projects illustrate how Italian tile plays an important role in the realization of thoughtfully conceived interior design and architecture. From its functional advantages – being durable, hygienic, and easy to maintain – to the superior qualities that set Italian producers apart – leading edge technology, unparalleled quality and aesthetic excellence – Italian ceramic tile is a versatile and high performance material that architects and designers repeatedly seek out.

Ryerson ServiceHub. Photo by Tom Arban.

Ryerson ServiceHub. Photo by Tom Arban.

The winning firms will each receive a prize of $3,000 as well as an all-expenses-paid, CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie – the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and sanitary-ware in Bologna, Italy – as part of a VIP delegation of specifiers and journalists. Contractors and distributors involved in each winning project will also be awarded a cash prize for their valued contribution.

For the full list of winners, please click here.

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