The judging panel of the 2003 Marble Architectural Awards met at the premises of the Internazionale Marmi e Macchine Carrara in Carrara, Italy, recently to select the winners of the 2003 awards, which this year were open to North American projects.

The awards, now in their 19th year, were organized by Internazionale Marmi e Macchine and the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) under the auspices of the Marble Institute of America. The contest is held annually and has a promotional purpose. It is open to architects, designers, urban landscape designers and interior decorators for a better and wider knowledge of stone materials and applications. The prizes are awarded to designers who use stone in a way that emphasizes its excellence and that is consistent with the overall quality of the design.

A total of 1,800 announcements were sent out for the 2003 edition of the awards to leading U.S. architecture firms, and the many entries all came from very prestigious and well-known names.

The judging panel was composed of Giancarlo Cacciatori, on behalf of the National Architects Council (CNA); Prof. Michael Charles Pinkston, professor at California State University; architect Lewis Gilbert Koerner, Chair of the Corporate Committee at AIA, on behalf of the American Institute of Architects (European Charter); IMM President Luigi Danesi; IMM Deputy President Loris Barsi; and IMM Director Cesare Nicolai on behalf of Internazionale Marmi e Macchine. The event was sponsored by Campolonghi Italia srl of Montignoso, Italy and Antolini Luigi & the S.p.A. of Sega di Cavaion, Italy.

The awards consist of four sections: external facings, interior design, urban landscape and residential decoration. North America was of particular interest to competition, since it has always been essential to Italian stone exports. As such, the jury had a difficult task to choose among outstanding work, particularly in exterior facings and interior design. After making their decisions, the jury held a press conference at the IMM premises, illustrating the results and the motivations for the prizes awarded, and commenting on the features of the work and the trends they expressed.

In the external facings sections, high-rises seem to remain in great favor, with designers developing the overall design with great care and attention for detail.

Original and new architectural solutions were found in most of the works competing for the interior decoration award, with some outstanding combinations of marble and other materials. The selected works stood out for the elegance and scale with which the stone materials were applied in large-sized areas.

The following is a list of the winning projects (please note there was no winner selected for in the category "Residential Decoration"):

Section I - External Facings - First Place (tie)
New Registry Of The Italian Embassy to the U.S.
Washington, DC

  • Work completed in 2000
  • Designed by: Piero Sartogo Architetti, Rome, Italy
  • Materials: Rosa Asiago
  • Supplier: Pizzato e Colpo - Asiago (VI), Italy
  • Fabricator: Technostone srl - Vezzano Ligure (SP), Italy

Section I - External Facings - First Place (tie)
Marylin Meditation Chapel
Portland, OR
  • Work completed in 1992
  • Designed by: Thompson Vaivoda & Associates Architects, Inc., Portland, OR
  • Materials: Luna Pearl, Rosa Porrino, Black Absolute granite; Bianco Carrara marble
  • Supplier and Fabricator: F.lli Guarda, Paitone, Italy

Section II - Interior Decoration - Honorable Mention
IDX Tower At Fourth & Madison
Seattle, WA
  • Work completed in 2002
  • Designed by: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, Seattle, WA
  • Materials: Rosa Zarci, Rosa Verona Classic, Arabescato Michelangelo, Grigio Carnico marble
  • Supplier and Fabricator: Freda srl, Querceta (LU), Italy

Section II - Interior Decoration -
Special Mention
UBS Tower
Chicago, IL
  • Work completed in 2003
  • Designed by: Lohan Caprile Goettsch Architects, Chicago, IL
  • Materials: Blue Orissa and Samba White granite; Calacatta Carrara, Grey Tapestry and Bianco Gioia marble
  • Supplier: Campolonghi Italia srl, Montignoso (MS), Italy

Section III - Urban Landscape -
Honorable Mention
55 Second Street
San Francisco, CA
  • Work completed in 2002
  • Designed by: Heller Manus Architects, San Francisco, CA
  • Materials: Conquistador Dorato, Pannafragola and Impala Black granite; Yana limestone
  • Supplier and Fabricator: Campolonghi Italia srl, Montignoso (MS), Italy