Armstrong World Industries has announced the winners of its first i2r (ideas 2 reality) professional design competition showcasing Armstrong Commercial Ceiling & Flooring products in either an “idea” or a “reality” stage. Four winners were selected from almost 140 projects submitted from throughout the United States.

According to contest judge Anne-Marie Gianoudis, IIDA, LEED AP, sr. interior designer at Gresham Smith and Partners, the competition recognizes that the right floor and ceiling can add to the beauty and function of an education, healthcare, retail, corporate or hospitality environment. “Client satisfaction is key, and architects and designers recognize the value of specifying the highest quality materials along with the latest in design and technology,” she said.  

Conducted in conjunction with the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the competition included two “idea” categories, one for flooring and one for ceilings/walls; and two “reality” categories, one for flooring and one for ceilings/walls.  

The i2r 2011 recipients are:

Armstrong Commercial Flooring

Reality Winner: Eckles Architecture & Engineering, Inc., New Castle, PA,
for the  McIntyre Elementary School. (pictured) The project is designed to consolidate multiple communities of students into one school building, grades K-6. The concept used to design the interior is exploration through transportation. The electric railways or trolley system has been influential to the growth of the North Hills.

One of the most notable design features within the building is the corridor flooring….trolley tracks meander through the hallways and stop at destinations along the way. The designers achieved this concept through the use of six different colors of Armstrong vinyl composition tile (VCT). The stops for the trolley are designated by circles of color or “nodes” similar to dots on a railway map used to denote towns or stops.

The Armstrong VCT trolley floor patterns take many twists and turns through the building - reflecting those experiences that the students may encounter while on their journey. The nodes pinpoint those stops along the way - the Media Center, the Cafeteria, the Gymnasium, the Classroom Entrances, the Music room, and the Art room.

Idea Winner: Adam Rohaly, Mount Pleasant, SC,for VCT Floor Mosaic. A proposed in-lay to a standard VCT floor, 2" x 2" VCT samples are utilized forming a mosaic of a selected image. Proper sizing allows it to fit seamlessly within the typical 12" tile floor system to create an elegant focal point.

The inspiration for this idea is sustainability and design impact with minimal expense. The goal was to reuse surplus VCT flooring samples which can be found in large quantities in many Architectural/Interior Design offices.

Armstrong Commercial Ceiling & Wall Systems

Reality Winner: Vision 3 Architects, Providence, RI,for NaviNet, a real-time healthcare communications network in Boston’s historic Leather District. By distinguishing both sides of the elevator lobby, the Armstrong WoodWorks wall/ceiling detail serves as a gateway into NaviNet's office space. A wood ceiling detail is repeated throughout the design of the space.

A linear band of Armstrong MetalWorks and WoodWorks ceilings, accented by custom light fixtures, serves as a design element that designates the main circulation paths throughout the large open office space. The arched WoodWorks ceiling becomes a focal point in NaviNet's cafeteria. The ceiling, illuminated by an indirect linear light fixture, follows the radius of the new interior storefront that mimics the existing historic arch-top exterior windows of the Beaux Arts-style building.

Idea Winner: Interior Image Group, Inc., Dyer, IN, for Destinations, which showcases Infusions Accent Canopies. The space plan ties together an indoor patio, grab and go counter with a dually functional host station, and café/bar.

By incorporating Armstrong Infusions into the ceiling of the indoor patio area, the designers added a unique and interesting design element, and also gave a better sense of proportion for dining in the patio. The blue acrylic color of the Infusions canopies tie into a similar color that will be used in a partial height wall along the perimeter of the indoor patio.

All submissions were judged on the creativity of the design, the use of Armstrong products, originality of the design, and the successful incorporation of other interior products.  

“These awards honor excellence in interior design, incorporating aesthetics, design creativity and function, all of which are exampled by the top winning projects,  said Contest Judge Susanne Molina, director for Klawiter and Associates. “It’s great to acknowledge these talented and visionary design professionals.”  

Tricia Monaco, interior designer, Eckles Architecture & Engineering, Inc., winner of the Flooring Reality category, exclaimed: “I'm jumping out of my chair with excitement. I am so honored that your panel selected McIntyre Elementary School as your Flooring Realty winner. Thank you so much for this great honor.”

Idea category winners were determined by an online popular vote. The distinguished panel of judges determining winners for the Reality category were IIDA professionals included Anne-Marie Gianoudis, IIDA, LEED AP, Gresham Smith and Partners, Birmingham, Alabama; Susanne Molina, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, ID+C, Klawiter and Associates, Los Angeles, California; and Stacy Reed, IIDA, LEED AP, ID+C, Gensler, Austin, Texas.

Each of the two winners of the idea portion of the competition will receive $2,500. The two winners of the reality portion will each receive an exquisite crystal trophy and an exclusive catered event for their firm. All winners also will receive an Apple iPad2.

For more information on the 2011 Armstrong i2r Design Competition, visit