The Huizenga swimming pool captured a win in the Residential category.

Broadway Bridge, winner of the Grand Prize Award.
Outstanding commercial and residential ceramic tile designs were honored as part of the recent 16th Annual Spectrum International Ceramic Tile Competition. Awards were presented during the All Industry Awards Breakfast at Coverings 2002 in Orlando, Fla. The recipient of the Grand Prize Award also reaped a $10,000 prize. Each category winner won $2,500, and Award of Merit winners received $1,500. The entries in all categories were chosen by panel of industry experts who represented top organizations in the design and ceramic tile fields.

Mosaic detail from Broadway Bridge.

Grand Prize Award

Figg Engineering Group of Tallahassee, Fla., and Kolorines/Mosaicos Venecianos de Mexico, S.A. of Morelos, Mexico were the winners of the $10,000 Grand Award for their work on the Broadway Bridge in Daytona Beach, Fla. A variety of tile mosaics depicting native Florida wildlife were incorporated in the bridge's construction.

Because the structure's decorative surfaces have to withstand the effects of salt water, blazing sunlight, and wear meted out by pedestrians and boaters, mosaic tile was used in various sections of the bridge. The bridge's 26 piers were covered at the waterline with alternating life-size mosaics of dolphins and manatees, species native to Florida's Atlantic Coast. Each pier has the same panel design, but the designs are rotated to give a sense of movement.

In addition to the pier mosaics, 18 mosaic panels were added to the pedestrian walkways, beginning with illustrations of shells on the ocean floor, which transition to a variety of sea creatures, then to land animals, waterfowl, and birds. A mosaic featuring a pair of bald eagles marks the apex of the bridge, after which the panels repeat in the opposite direction. The walkway walls of the bridge feature 36 smaller panels of Florida mangroves, plants and animals that were mounted in pre-cast concrete shells.

The pier mosaics were constructed with state-of-the art computerized application techniques, while the walkways were produced using traditional hand-set mosaic methods. Each panel was hand-drawn and tiled with tesserae-sized tiles.

Stetson Law Library won top honors in the Commercial category.

Commercial Winner

Ceramic Solutions Inc. of Tampa, Fla., won the $2,500 1st Prize in the Commercial Construction/Remodel category on the strength of their design for the historic Stetson University Law Library in Tampa. The company chose Seneca Tile of Attica, Ohio, to manufacture the random-sized modular pavers with glazed decorative accents that were used to harmonize with the project's Mediterranean Revival-style architecture.

After color selections were made, mock panels were produced for final approval. Standard Marble and Tile Co. of Sarasota, Fla., handled final installation of the project. The colorful hand-molded rustic pavers strikingly complement the Mediterranean style architecture of the building and campus, and blend naturally with the building's atrium and tiled elevator surround.

The Commercial Award if Merit went to Schmoozies Bar.

Commercial Award of Merit

Topanga, Calif.-based Topanga Art Tile was honored with the Commercial Award of Merit for the company's mosaic design in Schmoozies Bar at Disney's California Adventure Theme Park in Anaheim, Calif. Walt Disney Imagineering designers approached Topanga Art Tile with the concept of a mosaic incorporating a variety of found objects including ceramic wares, china, silverware, glass and plastic jewelry, as well as marbles, stone, metal objects, and broken tiles in a variety of designs and colors.

Because Schmoozies is a fruit juice and smoothies bar, the project needed to be bright and colorful, and many of the objects were to be fruit-related. The Imagineering staff gave Topanga Art Tile about one-third of the materials to be used in the mural; the tile company found or created the remainder.

A key concern of in the creation of the mural was durability, particularly because it features numerous small pieces that protrude off the wall as far as three inches, and would be touched and photographed by millions of visitors over years to come. To maximize durability, Topanga decided to use a stain-resistant epoxy grout as the setting and grouting material.

Because of the large quantity and small size of many of the pieces, Topanga decided to set the mural horizontally on WonderBoard panels supplied by Custom Building Products. The work was performed in their own studio, rather than set vertically at the jobsite. The finished panels were then transported to Schmoozies, where each was set and grouted, bolted to the building and then the joints were filled in with more mosaic. Topanga Art Tile manufactured one-third to one-half of all the pieces, utilizing Laguna Clay Co.'s porcelain clay and glazes. The remainder of the mural was composed of gathered objects and materials.

Residential Winner

In the Residential Construction/Remodel category, the $2,500 prize went to Craig Bragdy Design Ltd. of the United Kingdom and Tamarac, Fla., and Tiling Service of Sunrise, Fla., for the design of the swimming pool at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home of Wayne Huizenga Jr. Designed to emulate a tropical island, the pool incorporates five major waterfalls over rockwork, and was constructed with a "beach entry" water depth of approximately 2 inches descending to a depth of 9 feet. The client's concept for the pool floor was to design a 63-foot long reef with 18 different shoals of tropical fish culminating in two 12-foot Blue Marlin chasing a school of Dolphin fish.

Murals on the walls of the pool depict three-dimensional tropical fish schools, and the backdrop of the pool was tiled in variegated Bisazza glass mosaic to give the impression of the sea floor. Six submerged stools, completely clad in a mosaic shell theme, surround the pool bar. It took the craftsmen nine weeks to install the 1,100 square feet of hand-painted ceramic tile and 3,400 square feet of variegated glass mosaic tile.

"River of Leaves," recipient of the Residential Award of Merit.

Residential Award of Merit

The Spectrum Residential Award of Merit prize, in the amount of $1,500, was awarded to Michelle Griffoul, owner-designer of Buellton, Calif.-based Michelle Griffoul Studios Inc. for "River of Leaves," the entryway of a private home in the California wine country.

Because the home is situated in a region known for its vineyards and wealth of oak, maple and elm trees, Griffoul's design for the entryway incorporated grape leaves and grape bunches with a pattern of acorns and mixed leaves. Because the tile was to be inlaid, the tile surface and color palette needed to complement the existing wood floor. Michael Byrne of Michael Byrne & Associates was the contractor for the installation.

Sections of the existing tongue-and-groove flooring were carefully cut and removed to accommodate Griffoul's leaf design. It was critical to the success of the finished floor that the tile was perfectly level with the height of the wood so that the transition between the two surfaces is a textural -- not an elevational -- change. The finished effect is as if the tile leaves were poured into place.

Special Recognition Winner

This year, the Spectrum Awards introduced a new Special Recognition category to recognize outstanding projects created from non-ceramic products such as glass or metal. The 2002 winner of the $2,500 award is Daryll Privette, owner of Privette Tile and Stone of San Pablo, Calif., for the remodeling of the guest bath in a San Francisco home. The Moorish-inspired home features handmade tile on three separate decks and on staircases.

The tile portion of the tub surround in this bath took more than six months to complete, with more than four months spent on the glass mosaic work alone. The theme of the space is a garden trellis with vines interlaced with blooming nasturtium. The design incorporates all walls and ceilings of the bathtub surround.

Privette, who along with just one assistant personally performed all of the work, had to mortar-float all walls in the room 2 inches thick due to the presence of existing soundproofing materials. This required the use of 21/2-inch-thick bullnose tile on the edges. The tile for the tub surround was composed of handmade 1/2-inch-thick, 6-inch hexagon tile, and 4-inch brown and 2-inch blue tile of random lengths. Ocean Glasstile provided the 1-by-1-inch glass mosaic tile, as well as the 1-inch-square gold tile. Mendocino Ceramics created the handmade tiles, and various local manufacturers provided the art glass.

The varying thicknesses of all these different tiles created a problem for Privette, who wanted the finished surfaces to be as flush as possible. All of Privette's years of installation experience, combined with ingenuity and pure invention, went into the completion of this extremely complex project. Every inch of the work had to be hand cut and shaped, using a variety of products and improvised elements. In Privette's words, the designer basically gave him the drawing and said, "Make it so."