La Ceramica e il Progetto 2021: the winning projects with Marazzi

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Amongst the award-winners, the Mozzanica&Mozzanica headquarters at Osnago (Lecco) by Alessandro Villa Studio, the Ceresio 7/9 by Asti Architetti and the Monastery at Arco (Trento) by noa* all highlight the value of ceramic coverings in architectural design.

There were over 60 entries for the La Ceramica e il Progetto (Ceramic Tiles and Architecture) competition, assessed by the jury comprising Mario Cucinella and Fulvio Irace, whose selections were based on projects’ creativity, functionality and aesthetics. It all proved that, 10 years on, this competition still effectively highlights the value of Italian ceramic tiles for architectural design. Three prize-winning projects use Marazzi collections.

The Commercial category was won by the Mozzanica&Mozzanica headquarters at Osnago (Lecco) by Alessandro Villa Studio, a project which transformed an existing factory into a multifunctional complex of offices, production plant and training areas. Inside, the Grande Stone Look Ceppo di Gré 6 mm porcelain stoneware collection (160×320 cm) is used to cover the entrance, the auditorium and the large ground-to-roof atrium, while the utility areas exploit the chromatic energy of the Eclettica slimline wall covering collection (40×120 cm) in Purple colour.

“The choice of materials and colours,” Alessandro Villa explains, “references the complex’s industrial origin. We opted for large-size ceramics for the wall coverings to emphasise the interior’s architectural quality. We were able to lay the large slabs in three parallel horizontal rows, corresponding to the positions of the floors and the stringers. And the Marazzi Ceppo di Gré covering provided an elegant yet ‘urban’ character, teamed with other materials such as concrete and metal, in colour shades that are subtle but never boring, interspersed with a few bright red details.”

Ceresio 7/9 in Milan, by Asti Architetti, received an honourable mention in the Institutional class. Part of a major redevelopment plan, it is an office building that restores the links within the urban fabric. It achieves this with strategic use of ceramics, the Grande Stone Look Ceppo di Gré stoneware collection (160×320 cm), which enables a dialogue between the historic city and the new architectural contexts and resolves sustainability issues.

“Ceramics”, explains Paolo Asti of Asti Architetti, “cover both the side facades, and play an important role in terms of installation efficiency and building energy management. The very large slabs were cut to size to create continuity with the steel and glass main facade. And to harmonise it with the industrial character of the area as a whole.”

An honourable mention in the Commercial category was awarded to the Monastery at Arco (Trento), designed by noa* network of architecture. The project for the 17C monastery involved the conversion of this historic building into a hotel, and revealed that ceramics can be the ideal solution, as they establish a dialogue between past and present through cross-references of materials, while also providing the performances necessary for a public space.

“This building, with its austere character,” Niccolò Panzani, interior designer at noa* explained, “needed materials that would underline the features of the existing context. The Marazzi Mystone Ceppo di Gré tiles – used in the bedrooms and suites (on the floors and walls, in 60×60 and 30×60 cm size, and also on the bathroom counters) – struck us as ideal for creating an effect as natural, elegant and timeless as the monastery interiors themselves. In the ancient refectory, on the other hand, we covered the long central table of the breakfast room with the dark coloured The Top Marble Look Grigio Carnico collection, to combine performance with a majestic impression.”