Best of NCTA 2018

Time-tested terrazzo techniques show breadth, beauty, and versatility.

Best of NCTA 2018

Breadth, Beauty, Versatility

Each year, the North Central Terrazzo Association gathers to discuss advances in technology, to refine industry techniques, and to build camaraderie across our association. We seek to make time-tested terrazzo techniques even better.

We also look back at the projects completed by our association members that show the breadth, beauty, and versatility of terrazzo flooring. Many of these projects are award-winning designs and installations, and they include hospitals, colleges, research centers, sports arenas, transportation hubs, and churches.

Join us as we celebrate some of the finest projects the contractors of the North Central Terrazzo Association have created.

Terrazzo Ignites Warm Atmosphere of Hospital

Terrazzo Ignites Warm Atmosphere of Hospital

Creating a sustainable, yet contemporary addition to an existing hospital requires impeccable design and diligence from architects. Skidmore Owings & Merrill Ohio LLC (SOM) rose to the challenge by enhancing Christ Hospital with a modern Joint and Spine Center that emphasizes wellness.

The 381,000-square-foot addition includes a new main entrance and concourse for the hospital; 87 patient rooms; 12 operating room; and education, outpatient, and support spaces. SOM created a warm and highly functional space, while providing a hospitable approach to the design.

Terrazzo Ignites Warm Atmosphere of Hospital

“The new patient rooms have expansive views of the city and surrounding landscapes. They are designed with the patient’s perspective in mind,” Arthur Cantwell III, associate at SOM, said. “All spaces have access to daylight and nature.”

To continue the light and airy quality of nature on the flooring, SOM’s monolithic design called for terrazzo in the public spaces. “There is no pattern other than the zinc strips that correspond with the structural grid,” Cantwell said. “We put the focus on developing a complex formula of stones, stone sizes, and recycled glass to create a visual depth. We were able to achieve the appearance of Venetian terrazzo with epoxy terrazzo.”

Because Christ Hospital wanted visitors to experience a warm environment at the Joint and Spine Center, a rift cut oak was chosen as the wood species for the addition. The color and character of the terrazzo was chosen to enhance the quality of the wood and the space as a whole.

“Both materials work together in harmony. The floor serves to enhance the continuity of the public space.” Cantwell said. “The terrazzo has a beautiful natural character while being a man-made product. It is timeless.”

Terrazzo Ignites Warm Atmosphere of Hospital

PROJECT NAME: Joint and Spine Center, The Christ Hospital (Cincinnati, OH)

CLIENT: The Christ Hospital (Cincinnati, OH)

TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Martina Brothers (Lexington, KY)

ARCHITECT: Skidmore Owings & Merrill Ohio LLC (Chicago, IL)

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Messer (Cincinnati, OH)

TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIERS: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)

DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIERS: National Metal Shapes, Inc. (Delaware, OH)

PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken  Djaferian (Wausau, WI)

Terrazzo Complements Traditions of Courthouse

Franklin Courthouse terrazzo

Located in downtown Frankfort, KY, the Franklin County Courthouse and Judicial Center served as one of the most historic and recognizable buildings in the state capitol. Originally completed in 1835, a jail and annex were later added in 1949 and 1968 respectively.

But by 2010, the Greek revival style building was no longer able to meet the space and design needs of the county seat of Franklin County.

Franklin County terrazzo staircase

Construction on the new judicial center began and incorporated as much of the historic courthouse as possible, with the new facility wrapping around the old. The marble-lined entryway, stairs, brass chandeliers, and cherry paneling and benches of the original courthouse were all restored to reflect the historic importance of the building. In addition to honoring the building’s history, the new facility was designed to greatly enhance the delivery of court services. It is equipped with the latest computer, video, networking, and security technologies.

Terrazzo was the perfect flooring material to combine the historic attributes of the original courthouse with these modern updates to the facility.

Franklin County terrazzo

Dino Martina, Martina Bros. Co., said one of the challenges of the project was in the installation of complicated precast terrazzo stair treads. The treads were welded into place on a spiral staircase.

“The treads were installed in a small area which made it difficult to use lifts and scaffolds,” Martina said. “Design and installation required special coordination between the stair fabricator and the precast tread fabricator.”

The result? Martina Bros. successfully combined history and tradition with modern design to make the judicial center unique and classic.

Franklin County terrazzo flooring

As Martina said, “Blending the old existing courthouse with the new creates something spectacular.”


PROJECT: Franklin County Judicial Center (Frankfort, KY)
CLIENT: Franklin County Public Properties Corporation (Frankfort, KY)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Martina Bros. Co. (Lexington, KY) 
ARCHITECT: Louis & Henry Group (Lexington, KY)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Codell Construction (Winchester, KY) 
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo and Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL) 
DIVIDER STRIPS SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH) 
PRECAST WORK: Santarossa Mosaic & Tile (Indianapolis, IN) 
PHOTOGRAPHY: David Laudadio (Wake Forest, NC)

Uniting Past and Present with Terrazzo

Cathedral of Christ the King

The Cathedral of Christ the King that stands today in Lexington, Ky., was built in 1967 with elegant terrazzo floors that still shine today. In the decades since its consecration, the cathedral has seen its parish grow to more than 3,000 families. In response, Christ the King, which has been the cathedral for the Diocese of Lexington since 1988, embarked on a $5.3 million expansion project. The additions include a new perpetual adoration chapel for the Eucharist, a new altar tabernacle, a baptistery, and a rectory building. In both the new chapel and baptistery, new terrazzo was installed that matches the legacy terrazzo perfectly.

“If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was part of the original,” says Dino Martina, whose firm Martina Brothers Co. served as terrazzo contractor on the project.In the new baptistery, a marble baptismal font adjoins a small terrazzo pool for the total immersion of adults as they are baptized. There was a lot of preparation and craftsmanship that was involved in installing the terrazzo for the pool: Metal strips along the rim depicting intricate crowns and crosses had to be carefully filled with terrazzo, and the terrazzo steps were poured in place after the contractors ensured that every dimension of the octagonal pool was accurate.The church and its congregation celebrated the completion of the project with a consecration in the spring, just in time for baptisms during the Easter vigil.

CLIENT: Cathedral of Christ the King
PROJECT: Chapel, Baptistery
ARCHITECT & DESIGNER: Murphy + Graves Architects
DIVIDER STRIPS: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company