First Prize Award Commercial: Walker Zanger for 25 Bond Street in New York, NY

The Prism Award competition, which recognizes outstanding and imaginative use of natural stone, is sponsored annually by Coverings and coordinated by the show's five sponsoring organizations, including Spain's Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association (ASCER), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA). Recipients of the 2009 Prism Awards were honored at a ceremony held during Coverings 2009 in Chicago, which was emceed by Paige Rien, designer for HGTV's top-rated "Hidden Potential." The host presented a total of $21,000 in prize money.

This year's competition drew 176 entries, a record field that made the judges' job of deciding the winners more challenging than ever before and testifies to the prestige of the awards, according to National Trade Productions (NTP), the organizer of Coverings. The panel of judges for the 2009 Prism Awards included: Jennifer Adams, Editor, Contemporary Stone & Tile Design; Marisa Bartolucci, Editor, Fulcrum; Robin Elmslie Osler, Principal, EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect; and Chris Walker, Vice President, Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp.

While the 2009 Prism Award recipients spanned a broad range of projects, they shared one common and commendable trait: truly exceptional use of natural stone. The winning projects are as follows:

Manhattan's trendy NoHo neighborhood is home to 25 Bond Street, the $2,000 Prism First Prize-Commercial winner. Walker Zanger walked away with top honors for supplying this multi-family dwelling in Manhattan with an intriguing menu of stone materials. To create a facade that was contemporary yet in keeping with the traditional architectural styles of the historic district, two types of stone were used -- Benjamin Gold from Israel and Oro Tocano from Egypt. They form a double-layered screen wall of varying widths and irregular separations, which provides for both privacy and unusual openness. There were many stone fabrication challenges on the project. First, the entire facade -- some 15,000 square feet of exterior cladding -- required hand tooling and was hand-hewn. Second, for the paving, the project entailed quarrying a block of granite large enough to reach from the building to the curb and sawing it into 16-foot-long, 8-inch- thick slabs. Each 3-ton slab had to be hand-flamed and shipped from China to New York and lifted into place without damage.

First Prize Prism Award Institutional category: Holzman Moss Architecture for Jefferson Hall--USMA Library and Learning Center in West Point, NY

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and its first new building in 35 years, Jefferson Hall -- USMA Library and Learning Center, were saluted with the $2,000 First Prize in the Institutional category. Holzman Moss Architecture, a New York City-based firm, accepted the honor. The firm's assignment was to design a library that reflected the spirits and values of today's Army, while paying tribute to the Academy's architectural origins and status as part of the National Historic Landmark District. The new building's exterior featured 1,586 tons of granite, in keeping with the overall Military Gothic style of the campus. Additionally, hand-tooled granite blocks comprise the two end towers, and details such as sandstone window surrounds, a three-dimensional West Point arch at the main entry and double-height windows, echo similar features in neighboring buildings, maintaining the design continuity of the nearly 16,000-acre military reservation. Materials selected for the project met bronze SPiRiT certification, a government-initiated sustainability program. Criteria included low VOC content, low embodied energy, recycled content and geographic proximity to the project site.

First Prize Residential: The Gallegos Corp. for the Highlands Pond Residence

Coverings awarded the $2,000 First Prize-Residential to The Gallegos Corp. for the Highland Ponds Residence, a large custom single-family home in Aspen, CO. The exterior veneer, fashioned from split-face Carioca Gold granite from Brazil, includes 6,300 square feet of split-face wall veneer and 4,800 square feet of Berm roof cladding. All material was custom quarried and fabricated to fit the architect and installer's specifications. Both the interior flooring and exterior paving are Colorado Buff sandstone, which was quarried and sawn at the supplier's operation. The kitchen features 2-inch-thick honed Impala Black countertops with a custom fabricated sink and drain board, while in the master bath, Mariana soapstone from Brazil was fabricated to include a carved sink, a custom bathtub, a shower surround, a shower bench and a custom shower floor with a hidden shower drain. Other credits on the project include architect Graham Hogan of Antoine Predock Architect PC and General Contractor Steve Hansen of Hansen Construction.

Award of Merit in Commercial: Carnevale & Lohr for the Maguire Lobby

Three $1,000 Prism Awards of Merit were also bestowed on exemplary projects. The Maguire Lobby -- 355 South Grand, a lobby renovation of the KPMG Tower in Los Angeles, CA, received the prize in the Commercial category. The previously dark, cavernous space was transformed into a light, bright and airy one, all while the building remained occupied by tenants. Hand-selected Piana Carrara marble from Italy, Thassos marble from Greece and Neoparies from China were the key materials used in the dramatic redesign. The project marked a third Prism victory for contractor Carnevale & Lohr, which took home the Grand Prize in 2007 and last year received First Prize in the Commercial category.

Award of Merit in Institutional: David M. Schwarz Architects for Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center

David M. Schwarz Architects earned the Award of Merit in the Institutional category for Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, a $95 million, 197,000-square-foot new construction with world-class acoustics. The building, featuring Indiana Standard Buff limestone, achieves perfect pitch. Its timeless Neo-Classical architecture is at home among many of the city's other structural landmarks, yet reflects a modern sensibility as a top-tier 21st-century concert hall.

Award of Merit in Residential: Executive Stone for the Brentwood Residence

In the Residential category, the Award of Merit was presented to installer Executive Stone for the Brentwood Residence, located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in California. Hagy Belzberg of Belzberg Architects paid homage to the palette of classic mid-century design, selecting materials such as gauged and stacked Pennsylvania Bluestone and Mangaris wood siding.

Design + Detail Award: Waterjet Works! for Hunt Corp. Headquarters -- Foucault Pendulum

Two Prism entries also each received a $1,000 Design + Detail Award. Stone fabricator Waterjet Works! was recognized for Hunt Corp. Headquarters -- Foucault Pendulum, in Dallas, TX -- a complex installation that features seven different types of stone.

Design + Detail Award: Rugo Stone, LLC for Our Lady of Pompeii, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Rugo Stone, LLC, of Lorton, VA, was honored for Our Lady of Pompeii, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, DC, an ornate chapel vigorous in color and design.