Material Matters – Sustaining and Enriching the Urban Environment with Ceramic Tile: October 20, 2011


Presentations by Spanish architect Ángela García de Paredes and Beyer Blinder Belle architect Richard Southwick on the use of high performance, durable materials that add character to urban environments. The speakers will discuss the importance of using materials that reflect the context of the local environments and offer sustainable solutions.


Paredes will speak to the use of ceramic tile in her firm’s work on the Kid University in Gandia, Valencia and the Congress Centre in Peñiscola. Southwick and Kramer will discuss the use of ceramic tile in the sensitive restoration and renovation of the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal at the John F. Kennedy International Airport.


Following the presentations, a panel discussion led by Susan Szenasy, editor-in-chief of Metropolis, will explore the use of natural materials in our cities. The speakers will be joined by Ignacio Fernandez Solla, architect and leader of the façade team at Spanish firm Arup; Charles Kramer of Beyer Blinder Belle; and ceramic tile consultant Patti Fasan.


This program is approved for CEU credits. Nine Spanish ceramic tile manufacturers, representing the newest trends, technology and innovation, will showcase visual examples of the material at the center of the presentation. While sampling Spanish wine and tapas, guests can peruse new products from Spanish manufacturers Azulev, Ceramica Elias, Inalco, Keraben, Natucer, Pamesa, Porcelanosa, Roca and Saloni.


20 October 2011
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Times Center – The Hall
242 West 41st Street (between 7th and 8th Ave.)
New York, New York


Ángela García de Paredes, principal Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos, Madrid
A project design professor and graduate of the Madrid School of Architecture, García de Paredes has also been a visiting professor at the Granada School of Architecture, Barcelona ESARQ Barcelona and ETSA Navarra. Additionally she has held visiting professorships at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, ETH Zurich, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio y Politecnico de Lausanne.


Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos founded in 1990 with Ignacio Pedrosa, won the Spain Architecture Award in 2007 for the Valle Inclan Theatre in Madrid. Additional award-winning projects include:
Museum of Visigothic Art, Merida
Jaen City of Justice
Lugo Auditorium
Peñiscola Congress Centre
Torner Museum, Cuenca
Museum of Almería


Published extensively around the globe, the firm’s projects have been featured in Architectural Record, Interior Design, Techniques et Architeture, Details and more.


Richard Southwick, FAIA
Partner, Director Historic Preservation, Beyer Blinder Belle, New York
Southwick leads the design direction for historic preservation at BBB with expertise focusing on the sensitive upgrading of older buildings and their sustainable reuse. He managed the architectural effort on many of New York’s signature buildings including:
The Morgan Library & Museum expansion (with Renzo Piano Building Workshop)
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum expansion
Frick Collection & Art Reference Library master plan
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Governors Island National Monument General Management
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Apollo Theatre


Other notable projects include: The Red Star Line Memorial Place, Antwerp, Belgium; the National Trust Headquarters and the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.; Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Facility, Queens – for which he was awarded the 2006 NPS Environmental Achievement award. Especially significant is Southwick’s work in the preservation technology of modern landmarks like Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal at JFK International Airport.


A graduate of SUNY Albany and Columbia University School of Architecture (M. Arch., Kinne Fellowship), he has been an adjunct professor at the New Jersey School of Architecture and is a board member of the New York City Historic Trust. Southwick authored the historic preservation section of the book “Construction in Cities: Social, Environmental, Political, and Economic Concerns”.


Charles Kramer, Architect, Beyer Blinder, Belle, New York
Charles Kramer worked extensively on the preservation of the TWA terminal, JFK International Airport.  He has lectured on the project, as well as other BBB preservation projects. A graduate of the University of Virginia, the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation Restoration of Cultural Property, Kramer has a unique understanding of the process of preserving and restoring buildings of all types.


Beyer Blinder Belle was founded in the wake of the urban renewal movement in the United States, during which the social fabric of cities, communities and buildings was compromised by the prevailing approaches to planning and architecture. It pioneered and defined a different approach to the design of the built environment which focused on the social integrity of communities and institutions empowering the daily lives of people; their interaction with each other on streets and in neighborhoods; their potential to take pleasure in moving through the city; and their memories and associations with the physical fabric around them.Since then, and as a result of this commitment, Beyer Blinder Belle has won three Presidential Design Awards, the Medal of Honor from the AIA New York Chapter, the national AIA Firm Award, and over 100 other awards for design and planning. It has grown into an international practice of 175 professionals in New York City and Washington, DC, with recognized expertise in diverse areas of architecture. Many of our projects still involve the stewardship of historic buildings in sensitive urban sites. This deep sense of identity has also produced new initiatives such as our Design Build Division, and a new generation of design and planning.


Ignacio Fernádez Solla, Architect, Façade Team Leader, Arup Spain
A recognized expert in the fields of façade design and construction, Solla combines his architectural knowledge with hands-on experience as a former cladding contractor and façade systems supplier.  He supports architectural teams in the design, specification and construction supervision of facades and roofs.


Projects of note include:
Palacio de Congresos, Zaragoza International Expo 2008
Communications Palace, Madrid
Telefonica Headquarters, Madrid
Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza International Expo 2008


Patti Fasan, CTC, principal P.A.T.T.I., ceramic tile consultant
A Ceramic Tile Institute of America Certified Ceramic Tile Consultant, Fasan is an award- winning presenter with an emphasis on educating specifiers, distributors and contractors on the properties of ceramic tile. As an executive board member of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, Fasan has helped to co-author instructional programs on the functional and design attributes of ceramic. She has lectured in Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States.


Fasan’s programs have been featured at a variety of industry events including NeoCon, AIA, Coverings, Surfaces and DesigNYC. For the past decade Fasan has been under contract to Spain, assisting the Tile of Spain brand with educational and training initiatives.


Susan S. Szenasy, editor in chief, Metropolis
Since 1986, Szenasy has lead the award-winning Metropolis magazine in landmark design journalism, achieving domestic and international recognition. She is internationally recognized as an authority on sustainability and design.
Szenasy sits on the boards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, FIT Interior Design, the Center for Architecture Advisory Board, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation. She has been honored with two IIDA Presidential Commendations, is an honorary member of the ASLA and AIA NYC, and the 2008 recipient of the ASID Patron’s Prize and Presidential Commendation.


Along with METROPOLIS publisher Horace Havemeyer III, Szenasy was a 2007 recipient of the Civitas August Heckscher Award for Community Service and Excellence. She holds an MA in Modern European History from Rutgers University, and honorary doctorates from Kendall College of Art and Design, the Art Center College of Design, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.


Congress Centre in Peñiscola
Location:  Castellon de le Plana, Spain
The location of the site, near the Peñiscola Castle, a National Heritage Monument in front of the Mediterranean, helped define the proposal for the project. The goal was to link all interior spaces to the park and the sea and as a result, the building displays an open, fragmented front towards the park, allowing views of the sea from the upper level and down through the outer plaza.
The loggia at the entrance is the main feature of the project as it ties the park and the Congress Hall together, creating a meeting point. It is made of ceramic, in a three-dimensional pattern that filters the wind and protects from the rain.


Kid University in Gandia
Location: Parque Ausias March, Valencia
The Kid University in Gandia (UPI) is an experimental initiative proposed by the Municipality of Gandia. The UPI is not a conventional kindergarten, but a group of specialized classrooms and workshops located in a natural setting. Here kids can develop their creativity and have fun as well as learn.
The concept doesn’t impede the Ausias March Park. It respects the position of six existing white mulberry trees, arranging the classrooms around them and shaping a central courtyard. The courtyard is the core of the Kid University, linking open spaces, covered areas and indoor rooms. The exterior exhibits a continuous façade serving as a sort of palisade built up with ceramic tiles.


Trans World Airlines Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
Location: Jamaica, Queens
TWA Flight Center was the original name for the Eero Saarinen-designed Terminal 5 at Idlewild Airport — later called John F. Kennedy International Airport. The terminal had a futuristic air with wide glass windows that opened onto parked TWA jets. Departing passengers would walk to planes through round, red-carpeted tubes. It was a far different structure and form than Saarinen’s design for the current main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport, which utilized mobile lounges to take passengers to airplanes.Design of the terminal was awarded to Detroit-based Eero Saarinen and Associates. It was completed in 1962 and is the airport’s most famous landmark (as well as being a National Historic Landmark). Gates in the terminal were close to the street and this made it difficult to create centralized ticketing and security checkpoints. This building was the first airline terminal to have closed circuit television, a central p/a system, baggage carousels, an electronic schedule board and precursors to the now ubiquitous baggage weigh-in scales. JFK was rare in the airport industry for having company-owned and -designed terminals.Following American Airlines’ buyout of TWA in 2001, Terminal 5 went out of service. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had proposed converting the main portion of the building into a restaurant and conference center, but some architectural critics opposed this move. In December 2005, JetBlue, which occupies the adjacent Terminal 6, began construction of an expanded terminal facility, which would utilize the front portion of Saarinen’s Terminal 5 as an entry point. The peripheral air-side parts of Terminal 5 were demolished to make space for a mostly new terminal, which has 26 gates. Besides being well-known to JFK passengers and architectural buffs, it was also the site of filming of the Steven Spielberg movie “Catch Me if You Can.”


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