Tile Around the World: Buildings that Save

Sep 5, 2011

When it comes to sustainability and commitment to the environment, architects are being more innovative than they have ever been. This not only results in a sustainable conscience, but allows designers to find inventive solutions when producing new building prototypes. Barcelona based duo Felipe Pich-Aguilera and Teresa Batlle are part of this group of architects who have chosen to erect buildings that offer comfortable living without harming nature, and without excessively sophisticated construction methods. The fact that they utilize Spanish ceramic in amazing new ways is a testament to the future of the tile industry around the world.


Pich-Aguilera and Battle have featured many undeniably simple yet innovative solutions in their designs. It is the extensive use of Spanish ceramic, however, that is the real innovation in one of their most famous works, the Telefonica Building in Toledo, Spain.


Home to the Spanish telecommunication giant’s call center, the Telefonica Building was so widely praised in Spain’s architecture circles that it was awarded the Sustainable Architecture Prize. Chosen by the Foro Civitas Novo in Castilla-La Mancha, this honor took into consideration the extreme amount of thought, care and sustainable conscience that went into every detail of the building.

On a functional level, the building is divided into three defined zones, capped on either end by two sweeping ceramic tile louvered façades that have been designed to control the amount of sunlight that reaches the building interior. The massive assortment of ceramic tile allows enough light into the work spaces, while lowering the average temperature of the building by nearly five degrees.


Pich-Aguilera and Batlle carried out a detailed study of ceramic materials, formats, installation and composition that led them to the design you see in the pictures below. The façades function in tandem with each building zone and help to tie together a design that blends architectural form with bio-climatic functionality.


Inspired design indeed, and a look into the future of ceramics.


What We Say: Spanish ceramic offers architects and designers a sustainable construction material and the foundation for a true design statement. Architects Felipe Pich-Aguilera and Teresa Batlle have shown in the Telefonica Building that ceramic tile is part of a new sustainable conscience that will help to carry the green building industry far into the future. Spanish ceramic will be there, growing and evolving every step of the way.

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