Located in a constantly transforming neighborhood, 426 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY, is a multifamily residential building that intends to represent a new language in its surroundings -- a language inspired by the shades and textures present in its context with a clear intention to achieve a design that characterizes modern elegance.
“We wanted to make an impact and bring focus to the entrance, which cuts through the building connecting the main and back access, emphasized by an impressive vaulted entrance and double-height ceilings,” said Carolina Escobar, principal architect for STUDIOSC, located in Brooklyn, NY. “A slight opening on the floor brings light to the lounge area downstairs and connects these spaces over three levels, fusing the common areas of the building.”
Porcelain tile was employed throughout the entire building. For the lobby and amenities area, a tile with a terrazzo look, I Cocci from Ceramica Fioranese in 36- x 36-inch pieces, was selected as flooring. “It has an authentic style with a decorative element that unifies the different spaces across the project,” said Escobar. “We also selected a brick-look tile for the walls in the lobby and apartment entrances, which is present in many of the buildings in the area.” The dynamic arch 3D tile in 6- x 12-inch sizes from Natucer is on the elevator walls. The rounded surface softens the volumes and it is installed vertically to enhance the ceiling height. For the bathrooms, Fossil from Ceramiche Refin with a hand-drawn pattern was chosen.
Benefits of porcelain
STUDIOSC prefers porcelain tile due to the value it gives to the design based on its durability, resistance, array of aesthetic options and competitive prices. “It is ideal for areas with heavy traffic and continuous use such as the lobby, hallways and common spaces of a rental building,” said Escobar. “Porcelain is easy to maintain and very hard to scratch or stain. In addition to this, porcelain tiles have a huge variety of prints and textures that help replicate real materials, like stone, concrete and terrazzo, which were outside the project’s budget.”
By opting for the terrazzo-look tile, STUDIOSC intended to create a statement of presence and continuity throughout the entire design. “We selected the I Cocci porcelain tile because we wanted a finish that was unique and able to represent an identity perceived throughout the project,” said Escobar.
The only issue that arose during the 12-month project, but was quickly resolved, was dealing with the installation of the dynamic arch tile, due to its spherical shape. “The reaction has been very positive,” said Escobar. “We have received many compliments. It’s a very unique building in the area, but it blends in harmoniously with its surroundings.” The project received an honorable mention in the 2020 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition.
Architect: STUDIOSC, Brooklyn, NY
Tile manufacturers: Ceramica Fioranese, Fiorano Modenese (MO), Italy; Ceramiche Refin, Casalgrande, Italy