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

Terrazzo: State of the Art, Classical Design

DePaul School of Music terrazzo flooring

A State of the Art, Classically Designed Building Respects the Surrounding Neighborhood

DePaul University’s new music facility fits perfectly into Chicago’s eclectic Lincoln Park neighborhood.  The owners specifically wanted the “look” of the neighborhood respected  and used when considering the finished structure.

“We selected terrazzo as a flooring material for the primary public spaces of this project because of its durability and timeless aesthetic,” said architect Rob Roubik. “In addition, it proved to be a more cost-effective option than natural stone slabs that were also being considered.”

DePaul SOM 19

A simple three-color design created a classic look for a public space ready for heavy foot traffic. Aside from terrazzo in the grand lobby/reception area, all corridors leading to the practice rooms, recording studios, and student lockers were finished with terrazzo floor. The facility’s managers love the long life cycle of the building and the balanced use of brick, concrete, and terrazzo.

The stair utilizes both poured-in-place terrazzo and precast terrazzo, cohesively connecting one floor to the next and creating a perfect match with the rest of design.

DePaul SOM 14

PROJECT NAME: DePaul University School of Music
OWNER/CLIENT: DePaul University
ARCHITECT: Antunovich Associates, Rob Roubik
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Bulley and Andrews

PRECAST TREADS: Wausau Textura
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

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.

Updating, while honoring the past

terrazzo flooring design joliet central high school

It’s the time of year when we reflect on the past and charge ahead into the future. With that in mind, we’ve chosen to feature the historic Joliet Central High School’s new student center. While the school’s central campus was added to the National Register of Historic places in August 1982, its student center features inspired terrazzo designs that pay homage to the original gothic architecture.

The student center is a 43,000-square-foot addition to the school’s main building and adds a new main entrance to the school. Given that marble and terrazzo were used in the original building and the later additions, using terrazzo in the student center not only offers durability and a wider color selection, it also fit in with the school’s overall design elements, said Justin Illg, the Wight & Co. architect who oversaw the project.

Notice the floor’s cross designs? They mirror columns stretching across the ceiling. The shades of gray are similar to those in the existing original building. The matrix also reflects the original building’s floors, offering a smooth transition between the old and new spaces.

“We thought carrying terrazzo into the new space would help with continuity,” Illg added. “We tried to stay true to the collegiate gothic architecture and in some ways modernize it. Terrazzo is one of the few materials where you can have the durability but also the freedom of expression.”

terrazzo flooring design joliet central high school
terrazzo flooring design joliet central high school

This project is a recipient of a 2017 NTMA Honor Award and has been recognized as Engineering News Record’s Best K-12 Education Project in the Midwest for 2016. Details of the project and the award were published in the November ENR Midwest edition.

PROJECT NAME: Joliet Central High School
OWNER/CLIENT: Joliet Township High School District 204 (Joliet, IL)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Menconi Terrazzo (Bensenville, IL)
ARCHITECT: Wight and Company (Chicago, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo and Marble Supply Co (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American (Staley, NC)
PRECAST TREADS: Wausau Tile (Rothschild, WI)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Fetro, Terrazzo and Marble supply

2015 NTMA Honor Awards

Chicago Terrazzo

In celebration of the most interesting, creative, beautiful, and appealing terrazzo floors completed by NTMA contractors, the NTMA recently announced its 2015 NTMA Honor Award winners. The NCTA is pleased to announce that two of its members won honor awards for their exquisite work: Menconi Terrazzo and Michielutti Bros., Inc.  

This annual competition honors the best terrazzo installations completed within the last year.

Projects are judged on:

  • excellence in craftsmanship
  • intricacy of design
  • scope of work
  • originality of ideas
  • artistic and faithful reproduction of architects’ or designers’ drawings
  • quality of construction materials

A panel of five industry experts and experienced designers use this criteria to score the project based on photos and a job description. The project’s name, location, terrazzo contractor, and all other parties involved with the project are kept secret. 

Once the scores are totaled, the winners are announced, with the highest scoring project receiving the title of “Job of the Year.”

Biomedical Science Research Building, University of Michigan

Biomedical Building

At the University of Michigan’s Biomedical Science Research Building, there is an emphasis on intellectual collaboration and innovation. This spirit carries over into the building’s architecture with a clean, modern design that represents different scientific themes rather than individual departments.

Biomedical Building terrazzo

The building’s lobby serves as the well-traveled heart of this collaboration, connecting laboratories, faculty offices, and seminar rooms together. Terrazzo’s durability and flexible design provided the necessary attributes to stand up to high traffic while meeting the modern design requirement.

An eye-catching four-color linear pattern is featured in the lobby, using the classic UofM blue and gold and a pristine white background to create elegant pathways. Pockets of colors are used to indicate meeting spaces along the 20,000 square feet of these pathways, reminding visitors of the building’s collaboration intent.

University of Michigan terrazzo

“Stripes within stripes are superimposed on a large strip of another angle and interspersed with random, abstract cloud forms, creating a sense of space and spaciousness,” Bob Michielutti of Michielutti Bros., Inc. said.

PROJECT NAME: Biomedical Science Research Building (Ann Arbor, MI)
CLIENT: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Michielutti Bros., Inc. (Eastpointe, MI)
ARCHITECT: Ennead Architects (New York, NY)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Gilbane/Clark Joint Venture (Ann Arbor, MI)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes, Inc. (Delaware, OH)
PRECAST: Angelozzi Precast Terrazzo Products, LLC. (West Berlin, NJ)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Robert Michielutti Jr. 

Northwestern Memorial Hospital Outpatient Care Pavilion
Northwestern terrazzo

For its new Outpatient Care Pavilion, Northwestern Memorial Hospital needed a public space that would connect the new building with the existing buildings on the healthcare campus. 

To create the flowing pattern necessary to guide visitors through the space, terrazzo was used to tie together the old and new in a classic, yet contemporary way.

northwestern terrazzo

They incorporated old and new with curve, bar, and band designs in neutral colors. Kimberly Cook, associate vice president at CannonDesign, said the combination of these design aspects with the building’s architecture helped to create a better sense of flow.

“We brought the two elements of organized geometry and curving organic form together to bridge some of what was happening in the building and on the Northwestern campus overall,” she said.

Northwestern terrazzo 

The subtle, neutral colors were chosen to create a dynamic pattern that would create the effect the hospital was after. 

“The only material we felt could accomplish the organic shape in a successful and impactful manner was terrazzo,” Cook said. 

PROJECT NAME:  Northwestern Memorial Hospital Outpatient Care Pavilion (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) 
PHOTOGRAPHER: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix (Wausau, WI) 

Terrazzo Bridges the Gap on Hospital Campus

Northwestern Hospital

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.

Northwestern Memorial bridge terrazzo
“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.
Northwestern Memorial terrazzo

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)

Because It’s The Cup: Chicago Blackhawks Terrazzo

Chicago Blackhawks

Because It’s The Cup, we wish the Chicago Blackhawks good luck tonight in Game 1 of their series against the St. Louis Blues. Lord Stanley would be very impressed with your spirited terrazzo logo created by Menconi Terrazzo!

We are excited to see Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews back in action. Are you?

Stay updated with tonight’s game by visiting the Hawks’ website.

Terrazzo Adds Class to Tinley Park Metra Station

Tinley Park terrazzo
When the City of Tinley Park, IL, and Metra, a commuter rail system, planned to redevelop the city’s 80th Avenue station in grand style, Legat Architects specified terrazzo flooring. “We wanted to reflect the grand era of train travel,” said architect Ted Haug. “It’s a reflection of city pride.”

Entry into the stand-out station is marked by the city’s seal in the floor of gleaming terrazzo in a classic pattern. With its impressive clock tower, the station anchors the town and celebrates its 155-year legacy and strong connection to the railroad.

The station features a “Great Hall” with a 25-foot ceiling, a stone fireplace, and a full-service café area. The floor has a seamless, wall-to-wall look, with the terrazzo base recessed half an inch under the stone. The floor and base gets its gleam from a 200 grit finish sealed with terroxy solvent base sealer.

CLIENT: Metra and City of Tinley Park
PROJECT: 80th Avenue Station
ARCHITECT: Ted Haug, Legat Architects
TERRAZZO MATERIALS: Terrazzo and Marble Supply Companies
METAL STRIPS & LOGO: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company

To view more terrazzo samples, visit the NCTA’s Design Gallery, or view the Terrazzo Color Palette.You can learn more about the NCTA here.


Terrazzo Plays to Old Town School of Folk Music’s History of Innovation

Old Town terrazzo

Chicago’s historic and thriving Old Town School of Folk Music has celebrated its 55th anniversary with the opening of a brand-new building. One artistic choice the architects made to bring the school’s casual vibe into the 21st century? Terrazzo floors.

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin wrote in his review of the new building that the interior and exterior fit the tone of the Old Town School’s three other buildings, while injecting it with a forward-thinking aesthetic. That includes the terrazzo floors. Kamin notes that the building’s terrazzo recalls the Old Town School’s former library while glinting with the texture of recycled mirrors and glass bottles.

Located at 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago, the $16.5 million, 27,000-square-foot, three-story building features terrazzo floors by Menconi Terrazzo of Bensenville, Ill. The building was designed by Bill Ketcham of the Chicago architectural firm VOA, and the contractor on the project was Bulley & Andrews, also of Chicago. All materials supplied by Terrazzo & Marble Supply; divider strips from Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company.

To view more terrazzo samples, visit the NCTA’s Design Gallery, or view the Terrazzo Color Palette.

You can learn more about the NCTA here.