The winner of the inaugural Walker Zanger Kaza Design Competition presented by Architecture Digest, is practicing architect, inventor, educator and environmentalist, Aybars Asci, who combined all of his interests to create his design Liquid Forms.
Based in New York, Asci is president and founder of Efficiency Lab for Architecture and an advocate of research driven design that combines conceptual clarity with analytical processes such as the use of algorithmic tools and building performance modeling.
It is little surprise then that Asci took his cues from the material, concrete, and built his idea from there.
“Throughout my career as an architect, I loved working with concrete. Its monolithic quality always evoked timelessness for me,” he says.
The way concrete is formed was Asci’s initial inspiration, and where he took the name of the tile. “[Concrete] is poured in liquid form, and it takes its ultimate form as it cures,” he says. “There is poetry in a material that finds its form as it changes phases.”
Selected by a panel of distinguished architects and designers including Rafael de Cardenas, Stephanie Goto, Victoria Hagan, Ryan Korban, Jennifer Post and Nathan Turner, Asci’s design won over the judges through its grounding in research, unique flowing shape and the potential for a multitude of design applications.
“The softness of the form and its many possibilities is very seductive,” judge Victoria Hagan says.
Fellow judge Rafael de Cardenas elaborates: “I really love the sinewy fluidity of the form and how it would dematerialize a wall with its unique play of light throughout the day into night. Though static, it’s surface suggests fluid animation.”
It’s this movement and fluidity that makes Liquid Forms so special.
Asci’s entry featured detailed research and an incredibly thorough design concept that not only included renderings, but his inspirations and thought process that drew inspiration from art, music, the physical environment and the function of tile itself.
“The ephemeral qualities of capturing movement in stone like in Bernini’s sculptures, has been an inspiration for the conception of the ‘liquid forms’ design,” says Asci. “Tiling by nature is about repetition. And repetition can be a powerful design tool when there is complexity in patterning and variations within the field of repetition – very much like the minimalist music of Steve Reich or Philip Glass. The individual ‘liquid forms’ tile is conceived to have a form that can translate the pattern to its neighboring tile differently in all four directions, and thus creating variations through repetition, resulting in a rich visual field of movement.”
Jared Becker, Walker Zanger Vice President, Design and Marketing says Asci’s realization of the three dimensionality possibilities allowed by Kaza’s unique manufacturing process was exemplary: “Liquid Forms really takes advantage of the plasticity of concrete,” he says. “The smoothness of the concrete combined with its shape give it a sleek, modern simplicity that is refined and almost aerodynamic.”
For the judges, it was this combination of form and function that set his entry above others.
“Creating a single tile design that can generate multiple patterns was very important to the ethos of this idea,” says Asci. “Liquid Forms tile is aesthetically versatile. All the different patterns it generates have unique visual qualities that will give architects and interior designers a rich palette to work with.”
So how does the designer see his tile being used? “The soft curvilinear Liquid Forms design has a tactile quality that suggests luxury,” says Asci. “It will be very well suited for residential and hospitality projects… and will be great on a feature wall in a high-end residence, or a lounge space for a hotel.”
“I am looking forward to see other architects and interior designers using the Liquid Forms in their projects. Each project will breathe a new life into it. I am exceptionally delighted that I will be part of the Walker Zanger collection of the distinguished designers. It is an honor,” he says.
Liquid Forms will be manufactured by Kaza Concrete exclusively for Walker Zanger’s Kaza Collection and will be stocked in a new metallic finish that highlights not only Asci’s design but allows the experience of the design to shift and move along with changing light, and it’s this experiential consideration that is at the heart of every concept for Asci.
See the Walker Zanger Kaza Collection here.
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When I was first introduced to the Stardust Collection at Walker Zanger’s Los Angeles showroom, my mind immediately began swirling with thoughts of the glamourous moments that could be created while entertaining at home. Highly-textured lava stone mixed with metallics may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about creating the perfect dish for guests, but for me as a food and tabletop stylist, it definitely lends the opportunity for unexpected luxury. This collection is filled with deep dark hues and warm earth-toned palettes while showcasing a slight twinkle of celestial sparkle mixed with patterns reminiscent of 70s glam and opulence—all of these scream, “Oh là là!”
I’ve picked three of my favorites from the collection and turned each into a spirited, culinary pairing. From era-appropriate cocktails to foods that mimics the colors and textures of each tile, I’m so excited to share my inspiration from the Stardust collection with you! It’s five o’clock somewhere…
Cosmos in Glam
Happy hour is the perfect time to play up the drama with dark colors and texture. Serving a shared dish—such as steamed mussels in a butter garlic sauce alongside a few coupes of champagne—makes for an easy-to-pull-together (but still luxurious) way to celebrate moments together at home. The inspiration for this dish pairing was the black and grey metallic notes in the color Glam that are very similar to the mussels’ shells. Slight sand-like texture from the lava stone paired with a glimmer of iridescence… these two are a match made in heaven, especially when you tie in the dark flatware and blooms. Never be afraid of monochromatic décor; the impact can be surprisingly stunning when layering different textures!
Link in Twilight + Apollo in Moon Rock
The minute I saw the Link tile in Twilight, I felt like I was sitting in a swanky, mid-century hotel lounge. The tiles are strong, the texture is striking and it makes you want to take a seat and enjoy the view… perhaps with a tropical cocktail in hand!? Tiki cocktails were making a moment during this era, and the Singapore Sling was one of the most popular drinks of the time. This vibrant libation was considered both glamorous and exotic—not to mention it is both daring in color and garnish, which pops off so perfectly from the tile’s moonscape tones! I really felt the need to play with pattern for this cocktail and doubled up the Link tiles on top of Apollo in Moon Rock. By sticking to a common color theme, contrasting patterns deliver a very strong geometric message without feeling too busy. But make sure you don’t stop the layering there! Design doesn’t stop on the table top—make sure to carry the theme over into your cocktail as well by having fun with the garnishing. Try to experiment with contrasting colored tropical fruits in fun shapes and textures topped with edible blooms. There is no question that this happy hour will transport you into sunshine no matter what time of year!
Hexagon Mosaic in Solar
Is there anything more magnificent than the natural pattern found in the bee’s honeycomb!? So structured and perfect—a pattern so soothing on the eyes. When I saw this tile, I knew I had to choose the Solar colorway; the warm natural tones with a slight sunlit gleam reminded me of the natural grasses lining a honeybee farm I recently visited in Point Reyes, CA. To take that gorgeous memory further, I wanted to mirror those shapes, textures and colors with a beautiful cheese board for friends using fresh honeycomb from the farm. Where a cheese board is a common sight at many gatherings, it should never be boring! By adding vibrant ingredients that range from sour to sweet and play off the tile’s color palette, you create an adventure of flavors to try. Fruits and pickles play nicely together, especially when arranged delicately around cheeses of choice. By topping your masterpiece with a brick of fresh honeycomb, you’re adding an unexpected whimsical touch that will be appreciated by all… and what a perfect time of year to start playing with different flavor combinations for the upcoming holidays!
Thank goodness there’s a weekend in sight with so many happy hours to entertain with any of these recipes in mind. Even better, let’s mix together all three. Which tiles get you in the mood to entertain with the sparkle and glamour of the Stardust collection!?
Walker Zanger is excited to be participating in the Pasadena Showcase House again this year. Each year we look forward to working with some of the most talented designers in Los Angeles County as they completely renovate a historic home in the Pasadena area. Walker Zanger tile and stone have been used in the Pasadena Showcase House for over 25 years.
The result is a stunning 18,000 sq foot Showcase House featuring the latest and greatest in interior design and furnishings, including Walker Zanger Tile in multiple rooms! The original estate was worth around $20,000 and was part of the 100 acres originally purchased by Senator Frank Putnam Flint in 1916 who developed and designed La Canada Flintridge. This year’s estate is one of the largest ever redone by Pasadena Showcase House.
The main bathroom of the Pasadena Showcase House of 2016 was designed by Ederra Design Studio. who designed the Main Kitchen in the 2015 Showcase.
The guest bathroom was designed by Julia Wong Designs.
Powder Room and Family Room Bar
The Powder Room was designed by Robert Frank Design.
Butler’s Pantry and Kitchen
The Butler’s Pantry and Kitchen was designed by GH Wood Design
If you live in the Los Angeles area, we strongly recommend that you visit this year’s beautiful show house, which is open through May 15, 2016. For more information, check out www.pasadenashowcase.org.
Happy New Year! Walker Zanger is starting off 2016 with a social media color chart theme inspired by the Pantone Color of the Year. Last year’s color was Marsala and the year before Radiant Orchid.
Pantone’s color of the year for 2016 is actually two shades: Rose Quartz and Serenity. During today’s turbulent time, consumers are looking for mindfulness and tranquility in colors. According to Pantone, these are “welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security.” The balance between the rose and blue tones reflect connection, order and inner peace.
These two colors are often seen together in the expanse of the sky during a sunset or sunrise. The choice of these colors together is also a symbol of the fluidity of today’s changing times. Today we are experiencing a blur in the construct of gender, which impacts fashion as well as interior design. Using two colors as the Color of the Year reflects the open-minded nature of today’s generation and the willingness to see it as expression. Today’s generation is also more open to an exchange of digital information that challenges traditional ideas, such as one shade for the color of the year.
Sit back, and relax with hues of baby pink and pastel blue in these images of Rose Quartz and Serenity from our pinboard showcasing “Rose Quartz and Serenity”…
Check out our Rose Quartz and Serenity pinboard by clicking on the widget below!
Q: I am interested in a 21 Cemento porcelain tile floor for my high rise condo in San Francisco. I have visited your showroom in the design center in San Francisco where they have the 24″ x 47″ tiles with very tight grout lines installed on the floor in a straight grid pattern. This is the look I want. The designer helping me said this isn’t possible because porcelain tiles bow in the middle and must be installed with a 30% offset and wider grout lines. She suggested that I contact you for technical assistance. Very discouraged, I took to the internet, and now know about “lippage” and rectified vs. non-rectified tiles. Are these 21 tiles rectified? Should I give up on this beautiful floor? I don’t like the offset look. All the pictures on your site show the tiles in a straight grid pattern. I would love your advice. Thank you!
A: Hello Dale,
Your contractor would be correct in her statement if you were to install our 21 Cemento Porcelain Tiles using a running bond pattern. However, a straight set grid pattern will not present a problem with a 1/16′ grout joint width because the apex of the bowing in each tile will align with the bowing of the adjacent tiles on either side. As a result, lippage will not be an issue. Regarding 21 Cemento tiles being rectified, they are that way because they are uniform in facial dimension.