Telling Architectural Announces In-House Custom Glazing for Terracotta Tile Cladding

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Randall Children's HospitalTelling Architectural Systems has announced that its in-house, custom glazing for its Argeton terracotta tile rainscreen cladding is now available in North America.

"Glazing terracotta isn't new, but many terracotta suppliers rely on third-party providers, particularly for any sophisticated or specialty glazes," said Telling VP and General Manager Steven Collins. "When Argeton was acquired by Wienerberger – the world's largest producer of bricks – we benefited from Wienerberger's glazing expertise, which has significantly enhanced our ability to produce custom colors and glazes in a wide array of architectural options not available from our competitors."

This innovative glazing was initially created for the terracotta façade of Randall Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore (pictured). The architect, ZGF, was looking for a way for the tiles to come alive in the sunlight as it moved across the building. The effect is the changing of the color of the wall from morning to afternoon and evening – spring to fall.

"This is a very sophisticated process," Collins said. "For the hospital project, we used a base color of pearl white and engobed specks of green, gold, and black onto the tile, with both a clear glaze and an iridescent glaze to make this façade unique."

Telling's custom glazing actually improves the performance of the tiles, the company says. While they have the same life expectancy and weather resistance as the natural version, the glaze reduces the surface porosity of the tile, thereby increasing resistance to atmospheric pollution and enabling the removal of graffiti without harm to the tile. Tiles stay cleaner and look better for longer periods of time. Glazes are fired and permanent. Standard glaze finishes come in matte, medium, and high gloss.

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