Free Form Designs Meld Research and Patient Care

Free Form Designs Meld Research and Patient Care

Free Form Designs Meld Research and Patient Care

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL

Terrazzo gives the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab an energetic flow, with free-form designs and bright colors. Patients, family, and caregivers walk into an uplifting and lively space.

It’s a place to get things done, discover, innovate, and heal.

The terrazzo construction is not limited to floor design in a single room. This three-floor, four-color installation defines the space throughout:

  • Some 36,000 square feet of flooring
  • 2,150 linear feet of wall base
  • 10 foot high wall installations

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is Chicago’s first-ever translational research hospital, focused on both research in rehabilitation treatments and patient care. The facility design needed a functional flow to allow researchers and patients to occupy the same space and work together.

Free Form Designs Meld Research and Patient Care

The versatility of terrazzo provided continuity of color and fluid lines to tie the space together. The design works to blend the work areas, common areas, and patient care areas in a way that fosters communication and promotes a shared presence.

The unified design and flowing patterns cultivates ideas, collaboration, and communication spanning the:

  • 1st Floor Lobby
  • Corridors
  • Elevator Lobbies
  • 10th Floor Sky Lobby
  • Servery
  • Dining Area
Free Form Designs Meld Research and Patient Care

PROJECT NAME: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
OWNER/CLIENT:  Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co (Morton Grove, IL)
ARCHITECT: Clive Wilkenson Architects (Culver City, CA)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Power Construction (Chicago, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co. (Staley, NC)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Free Form Designs Meld Research and Patient Care

Artistry Reflecting Research

Artistry Reflecting Research

Artistry Reflecting Research

Northwestern Technological Institute, Evanston, IL

Buildings and interiors tell stories. Each organization, its history, and its purpose are reflected in the design.

Terrazzo lets you use color, material accents, and custom art to illustrate the tale, complementing the furnishings and lighting while bringing continuity and character to the story.

The terrazzo design for Northwestern Technological Institute J Wing Infill included six colors and featured an original artist’s design waterjet cut out of metal strip. These designs were developed to reflect the ongoing research in the building’s labs.

The J Wing is an addition to the original 1942 building. The designers used terrazzo to keep continuity with the existing structure in both material and style. This project spanned 4,200 square feet over four floors, which included flooring in the vestibules, hallways, and a three-story atrium.

The color and flowing pattern brings the natural feel of the atrium into the rest of the space.

Artistry Reflecting Research

PROJECT NAME: Northwestern Technical Institute J Wing
OWNER/CLIENT: Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co (Morton Grove, IL)
ARCHITECT: Flad Architects (Madison, WI)
ARTIST: Ambriz Graphic Design (Chicago, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co. (Staley, NC)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Artistry Reflecting Research

Long-Lasting Terrazzo Saves Taxpayer Dollars

Long-Lasting Terrazzo Saves Taxpayer Dollars

Long-Lasting Terrazzo Saves Taxpayer Dollars

When deciding on a floor for government and public education projects, designers and architects might feel like they have to compromise cost for beauty and durability. But with terrazzo’s remarkable longevity, they don’t have to.

Terrazzo can be used to construct designs that can last decades without replacement and with minimal maintenance. This saves money year after year.

Long-Lasting Terrazzo Saves Taxpayer Dollars

Less expensive flooring may not only fail to impress but also generally ends up with high long-term costs. Low-cost flooring requires increased maintenance, repairs, and replacement. When taking these hidden costs into account, long-lasting terrazzo is the lowest-cost flooring option.

The terrazzo installation at St. Johns High School, constructed almost 50 years ago, is a prime example of how terrazzo flooring can withstand decades of heavy traffic with minimal maintenance. With the investment in terrazzo, St. Johns has had five decades of tax dollar savings so far.

Long-Lasting Terrazzo Saves Taxpayer Dollars

At St. Johns High School, in St. Johns, Michigan, the original sand-cushion terrazzo floors have remained as rich in color and crack-free as when they were first designed by Guido A. Binda and Associates in 1969.

“Terrazzo is timeless,” said John Clark, owner of Clark Construction, the contractor on the project. “Thousands of students have enjoyed these floors for decades, and they’ll continue to do so for decades to come.”

Long-Lasting Terrazzo Saves Taxpayer Dollars

Make Your Space Buzz: Entertaining Terrazzo Designs

Make Your Space Buzz: Entertaining Terrazzo Designs

Make Your Space Buzz

Entertaining Terrazzo Designs

With vibrant color options, eye-catching designs, and striking patterns, terrazzo can make your venue come alive.

Versatile terrazzo can create designs that set the atmosphere in all types of entertainment venues including casinos, theaters, and hotels. From the bold colors used in the Grand Victoria Casino to bring the energy to the floor, to the lively design at the Muny in St. Louis that adds excitement to the space, terrazzo can set the stage for a memorable experience.

This video gives you a glimpse into what a terrazzo design can add to an entertainment space. See examples of the clean lines that add a feel of sophistication, the timeless designs that set the tone for your cinema experience, and the delicate patterns that bring the beauty of nature into public spaces. Next time you are out at the theater or a concert, look down at the floor, it might surprise you.

Recycled and Radiant

Recycled and Radiant

More than 1,500 years ago, Italian artisans learned to mix marble scraps—waste material from other projects—with cement to create beautiful flooring designs for lobbies, plazas, and other public spaces. The reuse of materials is as important today as it was centuries ago. Modern-day terrazzo uses recycled materials that can be locally sourced, making it a great choice for projects that need to use LEED-certified design practices.

Not only does a terrazzo design get you LEED-credits, the recycled materials can bring color and radiance to your space.

In 2004, Chicago Public School System set forth an initiative requiring all new schools to be LEED Certified. For Albany Park Middle School, in Chicago, IL, terrazzo was the clear answer. Recycled post-consumer glass composition, low-emission epoxy, and regional manufacturing all helped to make terrazzo one of the biggest contributors to the school’s LEED certification.

This environmental design was modern and stylish. The visually interesting geometric patterns with striking colors make the space lively and captivating.

Elegant Environmental Design

terrazzo flooring design kinowerks ravenswood chicago illinois

Using terrazzo flooring can add the finishing touch to a creative and modern design. Vibrant patterns and artful compositions can add to the visual appeal of a space. Not only can terrazzo be used to bring colorful and complex designs to life, it can be used to meet green building standards.

Because terrazzo uses recycled materials, and often can be sourced locally, it works well for projects that need LEED-certified green building design and construction practices.

Kinowerks Ravenswood is a remarkable combination of a highly creative space that embodies both a unique design and durable, sustainable construction. By using terrazzo, the architects on the job could not only create a design as unique as the rest of the building, but meet the demanding LEED certification criteria.

With locally sourced materials that came from within a 500 mile radius, recycled glass, and remarkable durability, terrazzo helped seal the deal on the LEED Gold certification.

Architect Bill Ketcham, a LEED Accredited Professional, says it best: “Ravenswood Kinowerks is a highly sustainable design that embodies an extraordinary attention to detail within a work environment that is at once technologically advanced, intensely focused, efficient, beautiful and deliberately relaxed.”

5 Ways Terrazzo Supports LEED Certifications

5 Ways Terrazzo Supports LEED Certifications

Terrazzo’s traditional craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal make it the first choice for many designers. The vibrant colors and design possibilities make it the preferred flooring to impress visitors and fit in with a wide variety of styles. But terrazzo can also help you get credits needed for LEED certification.

NCTA contractors have done work on many LEED-certified buildings in the region. Whether it’s to meet civic or client mandates or to fit the floor in a creative design space, terrazzo’s environmental design has it covered.

Here’s how terrazzo helps get the points you need to meet LEED certification.

Durable construction. Long-lasting construction eliminates environmental impact of replacement. The flooring can be preserved even if the building is updated.
LEED v4 Credits: Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction and Construction and Demolition Waste Management

Resource efficient. Construction uses locally sourced materials.
LEED v4 Credits: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations

Eco-friendly composition. Using recycled glass and other materials.
LEED v4 Credits: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations

Clean air. Terrazzo construction uses zero VOC materials. The finished product has little to zero off-gassing.
LEED v4 Credits: Low-Emitting Materials

Green maintenance.  Annual and routine maintenance can be done using environmentally friendly products using energy efficient methods.
LEED v4 Credits: Green Cleaning – Products and Materials
LEED v4 Prerequisite Support: Facility Maintenance and Renovations Policy and Green Cleaning Policy

Credit information is based on LEED v4 credits, updated July2017. For more information, visit

Terrazzo: Unique Design in Blended Space

Terrazzo: Unique Design in Blended Space

Cafaro Chooses Terrazzo for Unique Design in Blended Space

Cafaro Company Headquarters, Niles, OH

When the Cafaro Company was designing the new corporate headquarters, they turned to terrazzo to deliver a stunning, yet functional, design. The project changed the face, and the very core, of the existing building. The architect and designers at Phillips|Sekanick Architects, Inc. transformed an underutilized section of the three-story Eastwood Mall Complex into Eastwood Office Centre, an open and inviting 50,000 square foot office space for more than 200 employees. The team worked with Youngstown Tile & Terrazzo to cover the general flooring and staircases.

In this blended space, the flooring is the connector between the office building, mall, and banquet space/conference center. Bruce Sekanick, Principal Architect, recognized that the flooring selected needed to “be durable, look nice over time, be long-lasting, and provide a flexibility of design.” They needed a material that would give the space the sense of permanence and durability that Carfaro is known for. Terrazzo was the clear choice.

The team created a design that fit with the existing retail space and hotel, and flowed seamlessly throughout. They chose natural colors and a fluid design to blend the spaces and provide a timeless pattern that could match the longevity of the terrazzo itself.

“Terrazzo’s diverse color palette and flexible design allowed us to control the color and movement in the floor,” explains Heidi DeMark, IIDA, the interior designer for the project. “The inspiration was to use warm and cool colors to convey the ripple effect and movement showing the Carafo’s reaching effect on the community with this lifestyle center.”

Terrazzo: Unique Design in Blended Space

This design clearly shows the alive, dynamic, evolution that is Cafaro.

Terrazzo helped the architect and designers accomplish their vision, complementing the soft natural lighting, creating a warm and inviting main space, and providing a floor that was just as inspiring from the ground level as it was from the connecting bridge above.

Terrazzo’s versatility makes for a design that supports use for any need, as an inspiring and stunning entry or a social area for banquets. It has the flexibility for any event or purpose. Even the annual Christmas tree fits in nicely, showcased in the center of the entryway each December.

The ability for terrazzo to so vibrantly convey the messaging with the movement of design exceeded expectations. People come in from all over the country, and they walk into this visually stunning space that leaves an impression. Terrazzo completes this grand entry to provide a unique experience.

Terrazzo: Unique Design in Blended Space

PROJECT NAME: Cafaro Company Headquarters
OWNER/CLIENT: Cafaro Company (Niles, OH)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Youngstown Tile & Terrazzo (Canfield, OH)
ARCHITECT: Bruce Sekanick (AIA, OAA), Phillips|Sekanick Architects, Inc. (Warren, Ohio)
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Heidi DeMark (IIDA), Phillips|Sekanick Architects, Inc. (Warren, Ohio)
BIM MODEL MANAGER: Stephane Gula (Assoc. AIA), Phillips|Sekanick Architects, Inc. (Warren, Ohio)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Co. (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American (Staley, NC)
PRECAST TREADS: Wausau Tile (Rothschild, WI)
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Builders Association

Longevity Meets Beauty

Longevity Meets Beauty

Longevity Meets Beauty

If a project’s ideal floor is long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing, the traditional craftsmanship and artistry of the design offered by terrazzo fills the bill. Terrazzo can be used to render gorgeous designs that can outlast the buildings themselves.

The intricate and elegant construction in the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, for instance, shows how a beautiful floor can stand the test of time.

Longevity Meets Beauty

Six Decades Later, Terrazzo Still Inspires

The sisters of St. Francis Convent in Mishawaka, Indiana, have been singing, congregating, and praying on the same terrazzo floors since the convent’s construction in 1950. Even with minimal maintenance, the terrazzo floors in the lobby, corridors, convent chapel, and main chapel are as awe-inspiring today as they were more than 60 years ago when they were first installed.

Designed in the tradition of the old cathedrals found in Assisi, Italy, the architecture and terrazzo flooring of St. Francis unite in a harmony of strength and beauty. The installation was a cement matrix in lieu of epoxy, and the vibrant colors—not often achieved with cement—are a testament to the many possibilities terrazzo has to offer. Within the main chapel, terrazzo continues to lead sisters along the pews and to the altar over a soft color palette accentuated with precise right angles.

Longevity Meets Beauty

Defining Terrazzo: What makes terrazzo?

Defining Terrazzo: What makes terrazzo?

Defining Terrazzo:

What makes terrazzo?

Terrazzo flooring has a long and rich history that dates back over 1,500 years. The word terrazzo originated from the Italian word for “terrace,” and it was created by Venetian marble workers discovering new uses for discarded marble chips.

With today’s building technologies, terrazzo designs can now offer a nearly limitless array of colors, with enough flexibility to accommodate designs from very simple and classic to extremely intricate and complex. All while retaining terrazzo’s durability, sustainability, and low maintenance costs.

But what makes terrazzo?


The terrazzo matrix is the binding material, either epoxy resin or cement, that bonds to the underlying structure. The matrix contributes to the overall color.



Terrazzo can contain a large variety of chips or aggregates including marble, granite, and glass. It can also include decorative glass, shell, or metal items. The aggregate provides texture, color, and depth.


Divider Strips

Divider strips are made of various metals. They are used for both function and decoration.
Functional: Required spacers to keep terrazzo from cracking based on cement slab movement.
Decorative: Provide separation between terrazzo sections to create design.


Top Finish

The top finish is a sealer or method of finishing terrazzo that provides varying degrees of durability, shine, and color. Terrazzo can be finished with a variety of surface finishing systems that process the surface mechanically and/or chemically.


Contact the NCTA to schedule a Lunch & Learn for continued education credits.