Designed for a Tampa, Fla. parking lot, "Parking at the Courthouse" won the 2001 Spectrum Commercial Construction/Remodel Prize Award.

Dolphins, forest animals and court houses. When it came to ceramic tiles this May, the 15th Annual Spectrum International Ceramic Tile Competition had it covered (in tiles, of course). This year's entries offered Spectrum judges an eclectic mix of fun and sophistication, with pieces inspired by art, architecture and nature.

The Spectrum Competition recognizes excellence in ceramic tile design. A panel of interior designers and architects judged this year's entries at Coverings, the tile industry's largest trade show, in balmy New Orleans. In addition to the prestige that accompanies a Spectrum award, winners received cash prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.

"Discovery Cove," the Spectrum Grand Prize winner.
Ralph Young, artist and owner of Reptile Designs in Orlando, Fla. and Rebecca Lee, national marketing director of Quarry Tile Co. in Spokane, Wash., submitted the Spectrum Grand Prize-winning project, a mosaic for a "dolphin experience" theme park in Orlando. "Discovery Cove" was created with more than 7,500 square feet of original design mosaics that covered everything from parking lot signs to the park's Laguna Grill Restaurant. Installers used approximately 1,450 square feet of broken tile mosaics in 32 colors of quarry and porcelain tile. The Quarry Tile Co. provided the tiles and Reptile Designs was the ceramic tile contractor.

The Spectrum Commercial Award of Merit went to this installation at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
Spectrum judges awarded two prizes in the commercial category. Artist Mike Mandel claimed Spectrum's Commercial Construction/Remodel Prize with a custom-designed tile mural for a city-owned parking garage in Tampa, Fla. From 1892 to 1950, the site was home of the Hillsborough County Courthouse. The parking lot mural depicts both the facade and the interior of the former courthouse during the 1920s. The piece also includes cars from different eras. The tile for the mural was provided by Winburn Tile of Little Rock, Ark.; Emaux de Briare of Paris; American Olean of Olean, N.Y.; and Dal-Tile of Dallas. Leverette Tile of Port Richey, Fla. was the ceramic tile contractor. Ceramics Grinding of Waltham, Mass. handled the tile cutting.

The Spectrum Residential Construction/Remodel Prize winner.
Kelly Taffe Design Inc. of Tampa was awarded the Spectrum Commercial Award of Merit for the design firm's renovation of the floor of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. The design firm wanted to create a welcoming atmosphere for arriving travelers. The renovation transformed the airport's floor into a Florida beach scene complete with porcelain tile designs of manatee, dolphins, tropical fish, and shells. Kelly Taffe Design worked with Intercoastal Distributors of Tampa to select the color line of porcelain tile from Crossville Ceramics of Crossville, Tenn. Carpet Services of Tampa was the ceramic tile contractor.

In the residential category, Spectrum's Construction/Remodel Prize went to Gooseneck Designs of Westminster, Md., for a wildlife mural created for a Pennsylvania kitchen. The mural depicts a fox hunt, local wildlife and the family's house and barn. The three-dimensional piece includes a horse jumping a fence that extends out of a panel and high relief sculptures of a raccoon sharing a branch with squirrels. Andrew Marcone Tile and Marble Co. of West Chester, Pa. installed the mural. Gooseneck Designs manufactured the tile.

The Spectrum Residential Award of Merit winner.
A bathroom design in a Kansas home won Spectrum's Residential Award of Merit. Designer and contractor David Root of Atlas Archimedes of Lawrence, Kan. submitted the mural, which was inspired by ancient Mediterranean art, the architecture of Gaudi and the artist Hokusai's Japanese woodblock prints. In order to create continuity in the mural, Root eliminated virtually every corner by using lightweight concrete and steel mesh. The colorful mural covers the entire room. Tile Source Inc. provided Root with blue DuraKer tiles by Floor Gres Ceramiche.

Next year's Spectrum Awards will be presented at Coverings 2002 in Orlando, Fla.