Terrazzo has many remarkable qualities, but therapeutic is not usually at the top of the list. That might change, thanks to terrazzo’s soothing presence throughout the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
On the 11th floor of the 23-story, $855 million hospital, there’s a space where young patients can roam, explore, and connect with nature. Dubbed the Crown Sky Garden, it features live bamboo trees, benches crafted from locally harvested logs, fountains, and the soothing sounds of flowing water. It’s an immersive natural environment that can’t be found inside traditional hospitals.
Guiding children and their parents through the garden is vibrant, flowing terrazzo. Playful arcs of color lead them from the planters of bamboo and past the interactive benches to the southern portion of the garden, where gorgeous views of the Chicago skyline can be soaked up through 45-foot-tall bay windows.“Terrazzo is nice because of the range of material you can use in it,” said Ryan Shubin, project manager for Mikyoung Kim, the interior designer of the Crown Sky Garden. “We could add special granular elements to bring extra life to the garden, and we could also play it down when we wanted to allow the garden to shine.”Shubin also noted that terrazzo allows for dynamic curves and shapes, and it’s still remarkably easy to maintain.The Crown Sky Garden was completed in early June of this year. It has received high praise from designers and medical professionals alike for its union of fun and function. The goal was to create a place where patients can still benefit from the healing effects of nature when going outside is not possible. With the help of lively, sustainable terrazzo, that goal will be fulfilled for generations of children to come.
CLIENT: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
PROJECT: Crown Sky Garden and Various Floors
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co.
DESIGNER: Mikyoung Kim
ARCHITECTS: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF), Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), Anderson Mikos Architects (AMA)
TERRAZZO MATERIALS: Terrazzo and Marble Supply
METAL STRIPS & INLAYS: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company