• ACAW 2023



2023 is our 8th annual workshop. Here is a look at this year’s topic, speakers, and sponsors.

Now in its eighth year, the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop is the paramount venue for innovation in architectural terra cotta. Presentations will share design studies ten months in the making from eight professional teams who have developed terra cotta solutions for a variety of architectural applications.


Eric Parry Architects + FMDC Ltd.

Eric Parry Architects is working with FMDC Ltd. on production studies for the Salisbury Square Development project in London. A new commercial building will be clad in unglazed terra cotta with RAM pressed decorative spandrel panels to give it a unique character. The design includes extruded terra cotta finials that create a vertical emphasis and reflect the structural rhythm of the building. Finally, a reflective, high-gloss glazed soffit is proposed over the reception entrance to accentuate it facing the public square.


ZGF and LERA’s research focuses on enhancing the performance of exterior façade systems, aiming to advance beyond the aesthetics of terra cotta to use its unique material properties to improve building performance. Metrics studied may include thermal value, embodied carbon, durability, light reflection, structural efficiency, acoustics, or fabrication efficiency. Research methods are also being evaluated to reduce system cost and improve system sustainability.

Pickard Chilton + Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Pickard Chilton is interested in creating an expressive design language that alternate materials such as metal cannot achieve, by investigating terra cotta’s distinct technical and artistic qualities. Along with Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), the team will explore sculptural properties that tell a story unique to this material, forming an argument for the incorporation of terra cotta into real-world projects. Paired with an understanding of manufacturing and fabrication processes, their goal is to leverage these characteristics to develop a freestanding, hybrid structural system that could lend itself to a larger interior or exterior application, such as a feature stair or accent wall.

Rios + ARUP

Rios and ARUP propose to design and develop a tiled, terra cotta cladding assembly which can be modulated to harness the sun, wind, and rain in creating a porous and bio-climatically responsive exterior system. The concept of a high-performance facade will be investigated to formulate an innovative, sustainable, and regionally responsive system of enclosure. The team is focusing on research topics such as biophilia, solar performance, natural ventilation, rainwater retention, and evaporative cooling.

HGA + Studio NYL

Teaming up with Studio NYL, HGA is revisiting the design of their Center for Arctic Studies at Bowdoin College, to explore a custom extruded terra cotta plank that better preserves the expression of the original cladding concept. Due to budget challenges, the design team had to exchange stone planks for standard long-format brick. However, extruded terra cotta planks have a hollow interior that allows for strength and weight optimization to permit longer lengths than a masonry crew could typically handle with solid stone, and results in about a one-third reduction of clay when compared to a long-format brick. The efficiency to be gained from field installation due to lighter weights and fewer pieces, plus the reduced carbon footprint resulting from greater efficiency of material, makes terra cotta a particularly appealing option.

Henning Larsen + Thornton Tomasetti

Henning Larsen is pairing with Thornton Tomasetti and VS1 by Innovation Glass to explore the potential of terra cotta as a self-sustaining, high-performance building skin system that addresses formal expressions, modularity and sustainability. The team wants to test opportunities for integrating other building systems such as daylight control, ventilation, and landscape elements that can contribute to a high performing skin system. Their goal is to develop a solution using terra cotta that can adapt to different typology of architecture and facade expressions while functioning as an integral building component.

CO Architects

The CO Architects project abstract is coming soon.

Selldorf Architects + Socotec

The Selldorf Architects and Socotec team is working on studies for an unlisted project in North America.


Opening Keynote Speaker


Principal & Founder – Eric Parry Architects

Eric Parry founded his practice in 1983 after studying architecture at the University of Newcastle (1970–1973), the Royal College of Art (1976–1978) and the Architectural Association (1979–1980).

As an architect he is known for the intellectual rigour and sensitivity with which every project is approached and imbued and for recognizing the importance of art and craft in the built environment. Now leading a practice of about 80 with offices in London and Singapore, he is still fully involved in every aspect of the practice’s work, from inception and design to the direction of the project teams, design development and delivery.

Eric Parry maintains a key involvement in all projects, particularly in their design development stages, and under his leadership the practice has developed a reputation for delivering beautifully crafted and well-considered buildings.

Host and Moderator

John Krouse

President CEO, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Omar Khan

Professor and Head, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University

Presented By:

With Contributions From:

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