Trans-Hitos 2019 Exhibit “Agora” Offers a New Trendy Meeting Spot at CEVISAMA 2019

Feb 25, 2019

The Trans-Hitos Exhibition of Ceramics for Architecture celebrates its 15th anniversary at CEVISAMA in a series of ground-breaking, transgressive projects proudly termed “Agora.” The annual Trans-Hitos exhibit will span across 6,000 square feet along the main entrance of the international show for the ceramic industry from January 28 – February 1, 2019. The exhibition is sponsored by Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER) and coordinated by the Habitat Area of the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC). 


The Greek word “Agora”, or open space meeting ground, is reminiscent of the central public places in Greek city-states where citizens gathered to meet, learn and grow in the same way attendees gather year after year at CEVISAMA. The exhibit itself showcases the way ceramics offer not only a series of technical features and construction solutions, but also provide a wide range of possibilities for cross discipline building professionals and for large and small, mass-produced, or highly intimate spaces in the domestic sphere.  


A precursor of urban development, Agora allows for the analysis, study and conclusion of ceramics as a great technical and aesthetic ally. Agora is made up of the 5 unique, yet connected, spaces outlined below.  


SPACE 1: Ceramic Tile Studies Department Expo 2019 – Ceramics and Architecture 


This first area is devoted to displaying the work of students in the different Ceramic Tile Studies Departments in Harvard, Liverpool, Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia and Madrid universities fostered by ASCER since 2004. The space lends an in-depth view of the integration of the most innovative technologies into ceramics for architecture, while also showcasing the how the Spanish ceramic industry in developing materials committed to the environment and to affording far-reaching construction solutions.  



Processes, uses, sustainable construction, energy efficiency, innovative building construction systems, fresh applications and spatial refurbishment are some of the intrinsic features of the projects undertaken by students in the Network of Ceramic Tile Studies Departments. The exhibition is led by Víctor Echarri, Coordinator and Carlos Rizo, Researcher at the Ceramic Tile Studies Department at Alicante. 


SPACE 2: Ceramic Prototype – Arch Bridge 


Developed by researchers from the Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Ceramic Prototype: Arch Bridge explores the structural capabilities of slender ceramic extrusions–a product commonly utilized for exterior claddings, rain screens or sun-shading elements. 


Structural applications, such as the Harvard arch, are emerging and challenging the age-old perception of ceramics as non-structural surface finishes. Post-tensioning these elements further increases their structural capabilities, creating new design opportunities, including the possibility to produce self-supporting structures such as arches, cantilevers, or long spans.   


The prototype structure presented at CEVISAMA represents a single module of a larger structure currently under development. Fabricated from hollow slender ceramic extrusions, the design is composed of 3 primary arches connected with thin struts in a Vierendeel pattern. When completed, the full structure will span almost 50ft between supports and consist of 208 unique ceramic extrusions measuring up to 3.9ft in length.   


The project team developed a computational approach to generate the geometry of the arch, discretize the form into individual components, and accommodate for assembly tolerances. This digital workflow enabled the project team to quickly adjust assembly tolerances and component dimensions during the design and prototyping phase.   


Director and Structural Design: Professor Martin Bechthold 

Project Manager: Zach Seibold 

Design Research: Olga Mesa 

Client: Cevisama 

Sponsor: ASCER Tile of Spain 

Coordinator:ITC: Javier Mira 

Structural Peer Review:Windmill Engineering 

Installation: Grupo on Market 


SPACE 3: Nihil Estudio – House of Cards 


House of Cards, designed by Jesús Olavarri and Paula García of Nihil Estudio was the winning project in the Trans-Hitos competition promoted by CEVISAMA, ASCER, and the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC). The project seeks to take us back to the early childhood tradition of building card houses with the greatest care, since even the smallest mistake could bring the whole house tumbling down.  


This space was built with large-sized ceramic slabs in a card-to-card supporting angle of 70º on the vertical plane. To obtain the greatest possible sensorial effect, the height needed to allow the general public to walk beneath and through the structure. The large format ceramic slabs were cut by water jet technology in the proportions of a poker card, measuring 4.79×7.35ft with the height of the pair of cards leaning against each other being 7.25ft. The design pays homage to the patience and perseverance of entrepreneurs worldwide. 


SPACE 4: 17th Edition of Ceramics in Architecture and Interior Design Awards sponsored by ASCER 


This year the audiovisual contents of the prize-winning Primos Ceramica designs can be enjoyed via a space made up of large screens. 



Architecture Category: 

First prize: 

Project: “Palma de Mallorca intermodal station entrance,” by Joan Miquel Seguí. 


Special mentions: 

Project: “Laan Van Spartaan Amsterdam Student Housing,” by Studioninedots Amsterdam. 


Project: “Sports hall and classrooms. Francisco de Vitoria University” by Alberto Campo Baeza. 


Interior Design Category: 

First prize: 

Project: “House overlooking the sea,” by Xavier Martí and Lucía Ferrater. 


Special mention: 

Project: “Integral renovation of Casa Artium,” by María Fernández Torrado – Torrado Arquitectura. 


Final Degree Project (DP) Award: 

First Prize:  

Project: “A good happening,” by Manuel Bouzas Barcala from Madrid School of Architecture (ETSAM).  


Special mentions: 

Project: “La Vall, a hallway to Barcelona,” by Clàudia Calvet Gómez from Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB). 


Project: “The Limit. School of Arts and Crafts at Chinchón” by Carmen Martín Hernando from EPS San Pablo CEU University.  



The geodesic dome, of frequency 5, is formed by 275 facets with a diameter of 29.5ft and an approximate height of 16.4ft. The Dome communicates a series of key messages about why ceramics are a viable choice and synonymous with constructive solution, innovation, sustainability, safety, hygiene, durability, design and versatility to CEVISAMA’s visiting public. 


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