Two Canadian projects chosen as 2020 Tile Competition winners

Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency have announced the winners of the 2020 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. After reviewing a record number of projects from across North America, an international jury of design experts selected four winners and three honorable mentions. The chosen projects demonstrate creative use of Italian ceramic tile, representing all three built project categories – commercial, residential and institutional – and one student category. For the first time this year, the competition also featured a People’s Choice Award. Following a two-week period of public online voting, the honor was given to a multi-family housing project that garnered an overwhelming total of 396 public votes.

Joining the ranks of esteemed past winners like Gensler, Snøhetta, Renzo Piano Building Workshop and more, the 2020 Tile Competition winners were revealed during a virtual press conference hosted by Coverings . The winners will also be honoured during an awards ceremony in Bologna, Italy at Cersaie taking place in the fall. In addition to this 5-day, CEU-accredited trip, built project winners will also receive a check for $2,000. The contractor and distributor teams involved with each winning project will be awarded an additional $1,000.


Firm: Ruscio Studio

Project: Garden City Shopping Centre

Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Tile Manufacturers: Alfalux; Casalgrande Padana

Distributor: Italbec

Contractor: Fabris & Watts

Photographer: Kyle Thomas, Mart Design Company

The Garden City Shopping Centre in Winnipeg had not been renovated since 1989, so in 2017 Ruscio Studio was tasked with developing a sleek, contemporary new design that would stand the test of time. Using floral upholstery, Canadian oak wood, and colorful lounge areas, the designers created a modern space that plays into the “garden” theme. Stone-look floor tiles by Alfalux Ceramiche were installed in various colorways and configurations throughout the mall, serving to visually separate and connect different spaces. A uniform installation in the main aisles creates the appearance of wider corridors, while a patterned installation in the center court represents the convergence of shoppers as they flow from one aisle to the other. Finally, black Casalgrande Padana tiles were selected for the bathroom floors. Ruscio Studio was very careful to choose timeless, durable floor tiles that could withstand the next 20 years of heavy pedestrian traffic.


Firm: Bolivar Arquitectos

Project: M+B Residence Club de Golf la Herradura

Location: Monterrey, NL, Mexico

Tile Manufacturers: Florim; Provenza

Photographer: Francisco Álvarez, The Raws



Project: 426 Tompkins Ave

Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

Tile Manufacturers: Fioranese; Ceramiche Refin

Distributor: Highstyle Stone and Tile

Contractor: ABF Tile Installation

Photographer: Heidi Solander


Firm: Perkins and Will

Project: NYC Healthcare Clinic

Location: New York, NY, United States

Tile Manufacturers: Laminam; Saime Ceramiche

Distributor: Nemo Tile; Stone Source

Contractor: Wilkstone

Photographer: Dave Burk


Firm: uoai architects

Project: Nathan Phillips Square Bicycle Station | Archive 513

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Tile Manufacturer: Lea Ceramiche

Distributor: Ciot

Contractor: Thin Tile Canada

Photographer: Scott Norsworthy

Situated one level beneath Toronto City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square Bicycle Station | Archive 513 is a key component in the revitalization of Canada’s largest city square. This subterranean facility provides 200 secure bicycle parking spaces, which are separated from the adjoining car parking garage by a panel of metal mesh. Challenged with creating a unique way to display archival materials from the 1958 New City Hall International Design Competition, uoai architects worked with Lea Ceramiche to produce 22 custom-printed, large-format ceramic slabs. These yellow, 3.5mm-thick tiles cover the walls inside the station’s two-story central vestibule, featuring excerpts from the 1958 competition brief and high-definition images of the original design proposals submitted by 513 international entrants. Using over 60 linear feet of digitally-printed ceramic, this project explores the intersections between contemporary urban infrastructure and a pivotal moment in Toronto’s modernist architectural history.


Entrants: Carolina Cardona, Gabriela Mesquita, Rachael Cowan, Mariapia Sierra

University: Florida International University (FIU)

Declared Major: Interior Architecture

Project: …sensuum spa

Tiles Used: Valentino by Ceramiche Piemme; Abitare la Ceramica; Rondine; Ceramiche Coem; Italgraniti


Firm: Vida Design

Project: The Rodney

Location: Portland, OR, United States

Tile Manufacturer: Appiani

Distributor: Statements Tile

Contractor: Floor Solutions

Photographer: Shelsi Lindquist Photography