The geometric patterns and textures developed by KPF evolved through an interrogation of the nature of ceramics
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), is pleased to announce that KPF City Collection, a series of ceramic tiles for interiors developed with leading ceramics producer Casalgrande Padana, in association with the Milanese Architecture Firm SBGA, will be presented at the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.
Collection City di casalgrande padana
City Collection colors: Shanghai, Hong kong, New York e London
KPF’s intention was to create a modern material expression, authentic to the manufacturing process, with the desirable characteristics of man-made ceramics but the aesthetic qualities of a natural stone. From a distance, the tiles in the collection are perceived as finely-grained surfaces, with subtle variations in colour and texture. When viewed at close range, it is possible to discern the underlying geometric patterns that create this effect. The collection, designed for the contract interior market, draws inspiration from four major cities that the practice knows intimately: New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and London. Building on the work undertaken by the practice in each city, the designers interrogated these urban centres at the macro and micro scale, to capture a subjective experience of each place. Through reference to the distinctive character, materials, forms and textures of these international cities, momentary fragments of urban experiences and moments are recreated in a graphic style.

Geometric patterns and textures

The patterns and textures developed by KPF evolved through an interrogation of the nature of each city at various scales. This research went through a subsequent process of simplification and abstraction to create textured surfaces which combine the characteristics of a natural material with the unique qualities that can be achieved with ceramics. A collection that can be used in a wide range of interiors, for a broad appeal.
Collection City di casalgrande padana
“Approaching this project, – says Brian Girard, Design Principal of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associateswe asked ourselves what is the potential of contemporary ceramics to mirror the delight we feel for a natural material without simply creating a replica? How do we encapsulate the atmosphere of a city as an abstraction? We wanted to create elegant concepts that could be understood by anyone, enjoyed as a simple pattern within an interior and legible as part of a wider theme. The project is an illustration of the team’s approach to design, from the scale of an individual tile to a large masterplan, which combines a deep understanding of the importance of context with the willingness to embrace the contemporary potential of craft.”

Four major metropolises inspire four different decors

New York

In New York, the urban grid and high-rise buildings mean that the experience of the street is often defined by single point perspectives. For the tiles, the effect of the architectural experience is abstracted into a simple geometry, with diagonal banding articulated by verticals. The effect is evocative of New York’s energy and rhythm, to create a cinematic effect.


In London, where 40% of the city is open space, the designers were inspired by natural forms. Looking at the textures and colours of the parks, gardens and squares to create an organic motif, abstracted from tree bark and rationalised to create a repeating pattern, layered over a light stone texture that references the Portland stone and London Stock bricks London is famous for.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, density and verticality dominates the urban experience, the repetition of tower block facades generates an intense pattern that is both recognisable and abstract. A gridded pattern was developed for the tiles, the rhythm broken with subtle irregularities and variations, layered over an abstracted granite background, which references the surrounding mountains.  


In Shanghai, the faceted geometry of roofscape in historic districts, the result of a gradual accumulation of buildings over many years, contrasts with the international character of financial districts. For the tiles, roofscapes are abstracted into interlocking rhomboids, horizontal and diagonal lines add articulation and a stone texture creates variation beneath the continuous pattern.

About Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is one of the world’s preeminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients that include some of the most forward-thinking developers, corporations, entrepreneurs, and institutions in the United States and around the world. The firm’s extensive portfolio spans more than 40 countries and includes a wide range of projects from office and residential buildings to civic and cultural spaces to educational facilities. Driven by individual design solutions, rather than a predetermined style, KPF’s mission is to create buildings and places of the utmost quality and contextual sensitivity, providing a valuable impact on the cities they inhabit. As a global practice with a far-reaching impact, KPF endeavours to design lasting architectural solutions that mitigate their lifecycle impact on environmental resources and that protect and enhance the well-being of the communities they serve. For that reason, the firm has joined AIA, RIBA, and many of its peers in a joint effort to develop the capabilities to design and deliver carbon-neutral buildings by 2030. Instagram/Twitter/Facebook @KohnPedersenFox