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Behind the design of Kaza Liquid Forms


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.”

Kaza Liquid Forms 1

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.

Kaza Liquid Forms 2

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.”

Kaza Liquid Forms 3

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.”

Kaza Liquid Forms 4

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.

Kaza Liquid Forms 5

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.







Twenty Six Miles Across the Sea.





Twenty six miles across the sea, west of the California coastline, lies the the jewel of the Pacific, Catalina Island. Holding court in Descanso Bay, outside Avalon Harbor is the Catalina Casino. The most visible landmark on the bay was designed by Summer A. Spaulding and Walter Weber in the Art Deco and Mediterranean Revival Styles. Completed in 1929 under the direction of chewing gum magnate, Willam Wrigley Jr. at a cost of $2million the iconic 12 story round white building surrounded by the sea on three sides, is actually not a gambling hall, but a “place of entertainment”.   It contains a movie theatre, ballroom and now an art history museum.



Cat bIMG_3677


 The Casino Ballroom is unlike any other in the world. Built in 1929 it is 180 feet in diameter, with no interior columns, and is the largest ballroom of this type in existence. Virtually every big band of that era played in the Casino Ballroom. Guests danced many a night away to the music of Glenn Miller, Harry James, and many others.Live broadcasts were carried over CBS radio from 1934 into the 1950s.



The ballroom in the 1930's {Image via Pinterest}

The ballroom in the 1930′s {image via Pinterest}


Completely restored a few years ago, the ballroom retains its original romantic style — a lavish medley of rose-hued walls, and an arching, fifty-foot ceiling with five Tiffany-like chandeliers.


{photo: Kim Bernard}

The ballroom today.


Stunning Art Deco Light fixture. {Photo credit: Kim Bernard}

Stunning Art Deco Light fixture.


Located on the main level of the Casino Building, the Avalon Theatre was the first theatre designed for sound movies before its construction. Its circular dome is unbroken by pillars or balconies. The screen measures 18 feet high by 36 feet wide and accommodates Cinemascope motion pictures and was the first movie theatre to be designed specifically for “talkies”. The theatre played host to the previews of films by Cecil B. De Mille, Louis B, Mayer and Samuel Goldwin.

Comedy and Tragedy highlight entrance doors into the theatre. {Photo Credit: Kim Bernard}

Comedy and Tragedy highlight entrance doors into the theatre.



{Photo Credit: Kim Bernard}

Art Deco Detail



The Lobby

The Lobby



Ornate carved seats and hand painted murals add to the opulence of the theatre.

Ornate carved seats and hand painted murals add to the opulence of the theatre.


The murals in the Avalon Theatre and on the exterior of the building were designed by John Gabriel Beckman, a well-known artist who had worked on a number of theatres, including Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Nine panels encircle the inside walls of the theatre loggia and are stylized underwater scenes of marine life. Originally designed to be executed in Catalina ceramic tile, the murals had to be painted directly onto the concrete surface in order to be ready for the Casino Building’s grand opening.

The grand entrance.

The grand entrance.





Close up of entrance mural.


Today the Casino plays host to the annual Catalina Jazz Festival, the ballroom is available for private functions, and you can catch first run movies the the restored Theatre. All the while enveloping yourself in the grandeur and detail of a time gone by.

Cat cSTF_3550


{All photos by Kim Bernard unless otherwise noted)


Mosiac Monday…”It’s a Dog’s Life”



Mosaic Monday… Sneak Peek.

L to R: Villa d’Oro Ostia Cafe,  Tangent Astral Night, Villa d’Oro San Marcos Cafe, Tangent Hive Celeste, Tangent Lattice Crema, and Tangent Prism Ash.


Mosaic Monday… Ski Weekend.

All photo images and text are the property of Walker Zanger. Please do not use for commercial purposes without permission. You are welcome to repost. copyright 2014.

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