Terrazzo brings together design and practicality, form and function, classic and modern. On a healthcare campus like Northwestern Memorial Hospital, it ties together the existing and the new, telling a story from one building to the next—leading patients along their road back to health.
When Northwestern Memorial Hospital decided to build a 26-story outpatient care pavilion in its downtown Chicago
campus, one word came to mind—connections. It was necessary to create a public space that would bridge existing campus buildings together with a flowing pattern to guide people through the space. To accomplish this design, it was clear that the first and second floors needed to be terrazzo.
A curving form combined with bars and bands in subtle shades of white, tan, and gray were used to help with way-finding in the building. The linear and curved aspects of the flooring helped to create a sense of flow when combined with a curved structural piece, said Kimberly Cook, associate vice president at CannonDesign.
“We brought the two elements of organized geometry and curving organic form together in the floor pattern of the terrazzo to bridge some of what was happening not only within the building’s architecture, but with the campus architecture overall for Northwestern,” she said.
Though subtle colors were chosen, Cook said the ability to create dynamic pattern with the terrazzo was one of the main reasons it was chosen for the outpatient care pavilion.
“The only material we felt could accomplish the organic shape in a successful and impactful manner was
terrazzo,” Cook said.
Another important factor in choosing terrazzo was its sustainability and ease of maintenance.
“It’s key for the client to feel confident that a material will last for the long haul and still look and perform as well as it did when it was originally installed,” Cook said.
PROJECT NAME: Northwestern Memorial Hospital outpatient surgery center (Chicago, IL)
CLIENT: Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago,IL)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Menconi Terrazzo (Bensenville, IL)
ARCHITECT: CannonDesign (Chicago, IL)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Lend Lease Construction Inc. (Chicago, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company (Staley, NC)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix (Wausau, WI)