Terrazzo and Basketball: A Match Made in Winter

Terrazzo and Basketball: A Match Made in Winter

Terrazzo and Basketball: A Match Made in Winter

Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

Winter is the perfect time for basketball. But wintertime can be tough on floors where many people track in melting snow and ice on boots and shoes. When the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks wanted to build a new arena, the owners opted for terrazzo flooring, which is perfect for high traffic areas. Terrazzo also has unique qualities that can handle winter traffic while maintaining its beauty.


The terrazzo was laid down in sections, prepping and grinding along the way. After the building was fully enclosed, the terrazzo crew returned to each section to polish the terrazzo and apply sealer. Throughout the entire process, the general contractor and the terrazzo contractor coordinated to meet the client’s tight schedule—events were already being booked—and to create a beautiful floor ready for opening night.


The arena uses 89,000 square feet of epoxy terrazzo in the main concourse and main entry lobby and 5,000 lineal feet of epoxy terrazzo base. There are four sets of precast stairs. The final product created a simple, clean design, color scheme, and logo that the owners wanted . . . with a floor that will last a lifetime even with heavy winter traffic.


PROJECT NAME: Fiserv Forum (formerly Milwaukee Bucks Arena)
OWNER/CLIENT: Deer District, LLC
TERRAZZO CONTRACTORS: Northern Illinois Terrazzo & Tile Co.; Roman Mosaic & Tile Company
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: M.A. Mortenson Company
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply; Tectura Designs (Wausau Precast) (precast stairs);
ROMOCO (precast straight and cove base)
PHOTOGRAPHY: FotoGrafix, Viken Djaferian

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham

Profiles in Terrazzo


William Ketcham
Architect, Principal
Stantec Architecture Inc.

After earning his BArch at the University of Kentucky, Bill Ketcham moved to Chicago and has been working in architecture ever since. Ketcham started working with terrazzo almost from the onset of his professional career, and he is a great admirer of the product. “Terrazzo has an implicit quality, a timeless tradition,” stated Ketcham, “and it is sustainable when used with recycled content.” Ketcham has used terrazzo in a wide variety of projects, including Ravenswood Kinowerks and the Johnson Center at North Park University. The terrazzo floors in both also feature radiant heat.

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham
Ravenswood Kinowerks

One of his favorite projects is the Old Town School of Folk Music. The terrazzo floor in its public space has recycled content consisting of brown beer bottle glass, which symbolically links to the casual nature of the place and the type of music played there: Imagine people casually sitting around listening to and playing music while having a beer. “That was a fun project to do.”

Bill Ketcham understands the importance design plays in architecture, and that is one reason he likes terrazzo. Ketcham appreciates the plastic nature of terrazzo, which gives the designer significant latitude in design opportunities, much more so than with simple rectangular flooring options. And Ketcham points out that terrazzo is also durable, easy to maintain, easily fixed when damaged, and sustainable when using recycled content.

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham
Old Town School of Folk Music

Overall, Bill Ketcham loves the longevity and quality of terrazzo, and he aspires to incorporate it into all his projects. For instance, Ketcham has specified (not yet built) terrazzo for the radiant heating and cooling floors in a zero net energy project for the California Military Department.

Gateway Arch Museum Stands on Multi-Level Terrazzo Floors

Gateway Arch Museum Stands on Multi-Level Terrazzo Floors

Gateway Arch Museum Stands on Multi-Level Terrazzo Floors

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO

The Gateway Arch National Park Museum and Visitor Center is a soaring symbol that manifests the starting point of westward expansion. The mezzanine level floor incorporates the perfect image to match the Arch’s grandeur: a map of the United States depicting the major rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, and expedition trails of westward expansion. That map was created with 4,200 square feet of epoxy terrazzo using more than 10 colors.

Gateway arch photo 2_edited

The renovation and expansion was intricate. The project had just about every possible element of terrazzo, including Venetian marble, more than 52,000 square feet of sand cushion terrazzo in two colors, an epoxy map, precast steps, precast base, and a poured-in-place base. There were also significant challenges: staging was tough since the park remained open during the renovation. More than one million pounds of sand had to be brought in while also removing tons of earth. And the job was in a national monument, with accompanying heavy security.

Gateway arch photo 8_sm

“We are all proud to have worked on a project of this magnitude,” says Paul Berra of Missouri Terrazzo. “The finished product of this beautiful, durable terrazzo floor ties together the renovated original museum section and the new entry level, mezzanine level, and museum area with a bright, long lasting, timeless terrazzo floor.”

Gateway Arch Museum Stands on Multi-Level Terrazzo Floors

PROJECT NAME: The Gateway Arch National Park Museum and Visitor Center
OWNER/CLIENT: National Park Service/US Department of Interior
ARCHITECT: Cooper Robertson & Partners
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: McCarthy Building Company
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American- Terrazzo Strip Company
PHOTOGRAPHY: David Laudadio

Terrazzo Contributes to the Magic

Chicago magic lounge terrazzo flooring 3D menconi

Terrazzo Contributes to the Magic

Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago, IL

Illusion is the essence of magic, and the terrazzo floor at the Chicago Magic Lounge, with its 3D stack block pattern, plays to that sense with an M.C. Escher visual illusion. Guests enter a faux-speakeasy entrance with a vinyl floor that transitions to terrazzo when entering the lounge itself, which has an elegant, retro style. “Terrazzo made the transition work well while adding depth and character to the room,” said architect John Morris of Morris Architects Planners. “Terrazzo is the best way to do that.”

The space was small and presented layout and phasing challenges to Menconi Terrazzo. Steve Menconi, general manager of Menconi Terrazzo, said, “The owner, contractor, and architect all worked hand in hand with our installers” to make the project run smoothly. An unusual aspect of the project was installing wiring underneath the terrazzo floor that connects to hearing aids for those needing help hearing the performer. Menconi had never done that before, and they worked directly with the electrician to test how the wiring reacted with the epoxy.

Don Clark, Jr., co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, appreciates the finished space: “We wanted our venue to be magical in all aspects. Choosing a floor design and terrazzo manufacturer with the great skill to execute our mission was key to creating the magic of our lounge.”

chicago magic lounge terrazzo 3d flooring menconi
chicago magic lounge terrazzo 3d flooring menconi
chicago magic lounge terrazzo 3d flooring menconi

PROJECT NAME: Chicago Magic Lounge
OWNER/CLIENT: Chicago Magic Lounge
ARCHITECT: Morris Architects-Planners
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: LoDestro Construction Co.
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Profiles in Terrazzo: Barbara Palm

Profiles in Terrazzo: Barbara Palm

Profiles in Terrazzo

Barbara Palm

Barbara Palm
Director of Interiors
Anderson Mikos Architects, LTD

When Barbara Palm of Anderson Mikos Architects first encountered terrazzo some 20 years ago during a hospital renovation, she was not at all familiar with the product and found the prospect of working with it a little daunting. There was a lot to learn about the product, such as the finishing process, and many aspects—both aesthetically and practically—had to be considered. It was a lot to take in. But it’s fair to say Barbara Palm is now a convert. She often recommends using terrazzo for large, heavy foot traffic areas.

Through her experience designing interiors for a wide range of medical facilities, Palm has come to favor terrazzo because it is durable, impervious (and therefore antimicrobial), stain resistant, and easy and inexpensive to maintain. But mostly Palm appreciates terrazzo because of the versatility it offers in colors and patterns. Terrazzo “really lets you run with it for creativity,” said Palm. “Terrazzo lets you push the boundaries of flooring.”


Perhaps her favorite terrazzo project was the Operating Rooms and Main Lobby expansion project at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois, which represented the culmination of years of Anderson Mikos design concepts and projects for Rush Copley. She first introduced the hospital to terrazzo for its Emergency Department Entrance and Waiting Area, which was then carried through the public corridor to the rest of the facility. The recent new Main Entrance and Lobby have become the jewel of the hospital.

Barbara Palm would like to see more in the way of terrazzo tiles that might make it easier to work in smaller areas. While a few manufacturers create such tiles, the tiles tend to be limited in color and look and don’t have the sparkle that comes from such add-ins as mother of pearl or glass. The tiles also lack differential sizing that would provide more depth.


Palm believes the best creative results grow out of the designer and client collaborating as a team on the overall design. When it comes to that creativity, Palm suggests getting to know your terrazzo reps. They will give useful ideas about ways to use terrazzo to its best effect.

Terrazzo: The Geometry in Our Floors

Terrazzo: The Geometry in Our Floors

The Geometry in Our Floors

Geometry and shapes are all around us. Terrazzo provides the opportunity to mirror these shapes on the floor beneath our feet. By using lines and curves, a floor can guide us, inspire us, or pique our imagination. Take a look at “The Geometry in our Floors” as we showcase some of the possibilities of lines and curves.

Terrazzo: The Colors of Possibility

Devos Children's Hospital terrazzo colors

The Colors of Possibility

Terrazzo offers nearly limitless design possibilities. By customizing colors and aggregate combinations, spaces become one-of-a-kind. Whether you are looking for intricate multi-color designs, or seamless one-color designs, terrazzo offers it all. Take a look at “The Colors of Possibility” as we showcase all the colors of the rainbow.

Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date

aon chicago amici terrazzo

Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date

AON Center Chicago, Chicago, IL

A hospitality-focused lobby brings comfort, warmth, and openness to the AON Center, a mid-century modern Chicago architectural icon.

The redesign of the commercial office lobby pays homage to the original International Style architecture. As a space with multiple lobbies and pathways, the flooring works with other design details to maintain cohesion in light and space.

“The design of the terrazzo is not flashy or over the top. It is intended to be beautiful and timeless, to honor the iconic nature of the building,” says Shawn Fawell, AIA, who managed the project for the Chicago office of Gensler, a global architecture and design firm.

The contractor worked creatively to render interesting patterns in the terrazzo and to cut the terrazzo build time in half, by keeping the existing floor grid, rather tearing up the original floor and starting from scratch.

Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date
The old terrazzo flooring
Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date
The new terrazzo flooring

Click below to view larger.

PROJECT NAME: AON Center Chicago Lobby & Retail
OWNER/CLIENT: 601W Companies
ARCHITECT: Gensler, Chicago

DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes, Inc.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

Presence Resurrection Hospital Chapel, Chicago, IL

After a devastating fire in the Chapel at Presence Resurrection Hospital in December 2014, a full restoration was required. The chapel had provided over 60 years of solace and support. Its destruction was a loss for the whole community. But out of the fire came an opportunity for renewal. It was a chance to create a new environment to provide a comfort to visitors and meet their spiritual needs.

The terrazzo design was crafted to bring unity to the space. The design has elements used throughout the chapel. The stars inlayed around the font match the over 800 stars in the astral pattern on the ceiling. The color palette complements the statuary, furnishings, and original marble used in the reredos and throughout. The straight lines mirror the leadlines of the stained glass. Even the brass divider strips carry elements that augment the gold leafing and lend continuity to the design. This timeless design creates a sanctuary that will bolster the community for years to come.

Click to view larger.

PROJECT NAME: Presence Resurrection Chapel
OWNER/CLIENT: Presence Health Network
ARCHITECT: Domenella Architects
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Terrazzo Provides Renewal