More than 900 ceramic and sanitary ware manufacturers from 50 countries exhibited at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta, but three days to take in two exhibit halls and a back-to-back education program only made a dent in the offerings. The following is a cross section of some of the stand-out products displayed on the show floor last week.
Bellavita Tile translates San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood-style onto ceramic with SoMa (above), a multi functional unglazed porcelain that can withstand high traffic in commercial applications. The collection comes in Matte or Polished finishes for interiors, as well as Structured for exteriors or wet areas, and six colors are available on 24 by 24-, 12 by 24-, and 12 by 12-inch formats. Three mixed formats, mosiacs and coordinating trims are also available.
Trade shows are no longer simply product exhibitions: Education and networking sessions have become essential components to a show’s success. Coverings has expanded this formula to include installation vignette’s that, built over the course of four days during the show, demonstrate the versatility and variety of applications for ceramic tile. The Installation Design Showcase has paired four local, Atlanta-based design firms with four installation teams that have achieved the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Recognition, and have been certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. Now in its fifth year, the teams will produce a bar/lounge; a hotel lobby; an in-patient room in a women’s birthing center; and a master bathroom, all designed to demonstrate the design possibilities of tile and stone.
“These rooms are not all settings in which you would necessarily expect to see tile,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director, NTCA. “Above all, the Showcase highlights just how important the ongoing designer/installer partnership is to a successful project. Bringing the field to life in this way is another example of what makes Coverings a unique and valuable experience.”
Lightfair International held its 2013 edition at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center from April 21–25. More than 500 exhibitors, including 80-plus first-timers, filled over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space with the latest lighting technologies, from solar fittings to roadway fixtures, and rounded out a robust conference program with ample networking opportunities. Following are a handful of standout products from Lightfair’s exhibitors.
Designed for corporate and hospitality settings, the wall mounted Fino produces indirect light for washing floors or ceilings. Aluminum construction with an extruded latching system was designed to be set within sheet rock for hairline seams. Once installed, light from a replaceable LED board bounces off an internal reflector to produce a soft, even glow. Fino is available in increments of 6-inch lengths.
Designing for a smaller spaces shouldn’t translate to a reduction in quality finishes and fixtures. Following are a selection of bath fittings that serve as exceptional finds for tight rooms.
Open Space Shower
Vienna-based Eoos has collaborated on a folding shower that’s perfect for a bathroom with limited square footage. Available in clear or mirrored glass, the four walled unit folds into a chrome frame that conveniently hides all fittings, including shower and fixtures, when not in operation. The bottom can be outfitted with Duravit’s shower tray or set onto a tiled floor with a drain.
As interior footprints shrink, compact organization grows increasingly important—particularly in the kitchen. Below is a compilation of some of the smartest solutions to keep the heart of the home clutter-free.
B2-Kitchen-Kitchen Tool Cabinet
German manufacturer Bulthaup’s B2 kitchen workshop (above) is the perfect disguise for the home cook. The kitchen implement cabinet is outfitted with multiple compartments to store accouterments from pots and pans to pantry items. Adjustable shelves, formatted containers, and storage systems all fit uniformly behind the folding doors. It works in a loft, studio, or office environment.
Nothing says “sustainable architecture quite like a green roof. AN has rounded up eight of the latest green roof and subsurface components that the pros use to seal out, drain, or retail water, like the Green Roof Blocks system (above) by Green Roof Blocks.
The Green Roof Block system is a completely self-contained module made from high-grade anodized aluminum. It can be pre-planted with a growth medium that the company guarantees will never break down. Built-in drainage and convenient handles make the units easy to install.
Though books typically fall outside the scope of what we consider to be architectural products, we’re making an exception for Thames & Hudson’s new publication, Le Corbusier and the Power of Photography. Those familiar with Corbu’s much photographed architectural work may not know that he was something of a shutterbug himself. According to the publisher, he not only “harnessed the power of the photographic image to define and disseminate his persona, his ideas and buildings,” but his influence on the medium led to the rise of photography in general. From another perspective the book provides a more intimate way to access Le Corbusier’s creative process and some of the surprising inspirations behind his work, including images of him in his preferred office attire—his birthday suit.
For the Boardwalk Bench, the latest addition to its product line, Forms+Surfaces sourced 142-year-old reclaimed FSC-certified Cumaru hardwood from the original slats of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The naturally oiled slats are arranged in an asymmetrical pattern to salvage as much wood as possible while trimming imperfections.
Right now all proceeds from the sales of the Boardwalk Bench go to the Red Cross for Sandy relief efforts. Read More
Though you might not know it to look at them, Oscar Niemeyer’s new line of sneakers for Converse are apparently inspired by his country’s greatest natural resources, namely its mountains, rivers, and its bodacious women. The Chuck Taylor All Star Hi sneaker is still the classic shape, but on his version Niemeyer has emblazoned one of his most famous quotes, in Portuguese, of course. Here’s the English translation:
“It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve – the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.”
Herman Miller launched their Select Program in 2008 to offer their customers an extra way to connect with the brand and enhance their collections with limited edition pieces. As part of their 2012 program, Herman Miller is offering the Eames Wire Base Low Table (also referred to as the LTR table) in three special colors on sale now until Spring 2013, when production will end. Read More