All three winners of the 2012 Ceramics of Italy tile design competition are located in the U.S., including the 19th-century New York row house renovation that won the residential category. The project was led by former R. M. Stern associate Ulises Liceaga and his New York-based design/build firm, Fractal Construction. The renovation involved merging three residences into two while maintaining nearly 200-year-old exteriors. The newly reconfigured living areas flow together as one open room, in part because of the large-format, pale gray porcelain tile floors that also help bring light deep into the space.

Receiving an Honorable Mention for residential design, the Cooper Residence by Anna Marie Fanelli features a bouquet of sustainable tiles that enliven this 4,000-square-foot unit in Trump Plaza. Fanelli—co-owner of Tenafly, N.J.-based Floor and Decor—speced tile floors and finishes throughout the New York apartment to create low-maintenance yet chic spaces.

In addition to residential projects, the Association of Italian Ceramics also awards commercial and institutional winners. The Union Square 999 office building in Washington, D.C.—renovated by Leo A Daly associates who used sustainable Italian tiles to help obtain a LEED Silver certification—took top honors in the commercial category. Honorable Mention went to the Software Headquarters Facility in Medina, Minn., designed by RSP Architects.

RSP Architects also won in the institutional category for its Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The Bradford West Gwillimbury Library and Cultural Center in Ontario, a LEED Silver-certified building by Bogdan Newman Caranci, received an Honorable Mention in the institutional category.

The jury is instructed to select winning projects based on innovative use of tile as well as overall building design. Winners are each awarded a cash prize as well as a trip to Cersaie, the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, which will take place in September in Bologna, Italy.