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.

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) 

Nothin’ But Net: Crisler Center Plays Above the Rim with Terrazzo

Crisler Center

The Crisler Center, the home of Wolverine basketball since 1967, was in need of a renovation. Less than ideal amenities, seating, and air and plumbing systems kept the aging arena from measuring up to others across the Big Ten Conference. Though upgrades were necessary, Bill Frederick, architect at TMP Architecture, said at its heart, the Crisler Center had everything it needed to dominate the paint.

According to Frederick, building upon these strong elements made the transition from outdated to upgraded much simpler than starting over. “It was a solid structure, but it was time for renewal.”

The renovations were originally slated to achieve LEED Silver certification. But Frederick said as the project developed, it became clear the building could obtain LEED gold. “We were able to do that because of a combination of reuse of materials, efficient mechanical systems and some site things relative to the fact of where the university is located,” he said. This idea of repurposing existing buildings is something Frederick said is a very natural, sustainable approach to construction.

The first phase of the project addressed the highest priority infrastructure needs and included repairs to the roof and electrical, plumbing, and air handling systems. Seating improvements were made with updates for those with disabilities. Any code-related issues were also taken care of during this phase. A new high-definition video scoreboard and a premium seating area were installed.

On an incredibly short deadline for phase two, Michielutti Bros. covered 50,600 square feet in terrazzo, including the concourse level and the lower east entryway, all in time for basketball season.

Crisler Center terrazzo

Installing terrazzo in a renewed building is the perfect fit, due to its creation from reused materials and sustainability. “It’s a pretty neat material. It holds up well and has low maintenance needs,” Frederick said.

The terrazzo not only played a role in the gold certification the building achieved, but also added the spirit of the Wolverines to the arena. The rousing U of M fight song is embedded within the terrazzo at each column – leading the spectators and players to victory.

“It’s one of those small details that is meant to be discovered, to be enjoyed and to help create a feeling about the facility and about the university. It’s there to reinforce the whole experience,” Frederick said.

PROJECT: Crisler Center at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Michielutti Bros., Inc (Eastpointe, MI)

ARCHITECT & DESIGNER: TMP Architecture (Portage, MI)

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Spence Brothers (Ann Arbor, MI)

TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)

DIVIDER STRIPS SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH)

PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix (Wausau, WI)

NTMA Honor Awards: Crisler Center

Crisler Center

With concourses that were old, dated, and constricted, the University of Michigan’s Crisler Center needed a facelift. Bill Frederick, project architect with TMP Architecture Inc., said though the structure was solid, there just wasn’t the amount of space that is found in newer arenas.

“What we wanted to do was build upon the strong elements of the existing Crisler building,” he said.

TMP’s initial target for the renovation was LEED Silver, something almost mandated by many universities today. Frederick said since obtaining LEED certification is a stringent process, architects try to work in some “cushion points.” Due to these extra points gained through the use of recycled materials, efficient mechanical systems, and the location of materials relative to the university, the project is Gold-certified.

One of the recycled materials used was terrazzo.

More than 50,000 square feet of epoxy terrazzo was installed in the concourse, for stairs from the concourse to the east side of the building and in the east entryway, all in time for basketball season.

Bursting with school pride, the university’s infamous fight song “The Victors,” can be found as water-jet solid zinc letters embedded in the terrazzo. The school’s logo appears in hallways leading to the court.

Crisler Center

“With a little bit of maintenance, it will be looking as good 20 years from now at it does today,” Frederick said. “It was a straight-line decision to terrazzo because it had the performance history and the flexibility that we needed to address the design.”

PROJECT NAME: Crisler Center (Ann Arbor, MI)
CLIENT: Regents of the University of Michigan
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Michielutti Bros., Inc. (Eastpointe, MI)
ARCHITECT: TMP Architecture Inc. (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Spence Brothers (Ann Arbor, MI)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIERS: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL) & Continental Terrazzo Supply (Houston, TX)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

NTMA Honor Awards: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


As the city of Detroit continues to recover from its devastating economic crisis, revitalization is everywhere. Included in this renewal was bringing the abandoned 1920s-built Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago building back to life in the hustle and bustle of downtown Rock City. And so Bedrock Real Estate Services set forth a challenge ROSSETTI couldn’t resist—design an open, light-filled ground floor renovation with space for retail and eight floors of modern office space in the 176,000-square-foot building.

As mixed-use properties include space for retail and restaurants on the main levels and housing or commercial tenants up above, the architects at ROSETTI worked to meet the needs of its client, all while preserving the history of the building.

“We had to figure out some smart ways that were both historically appropriate and accurate, met the client’s needs, and showed a sense of respect for the original architect in the ’20s and for the addition designed by Japanese architect Minoru Yamaski,” Kelly Deines, principal architect at ROSSETTI, said.

The architects played on the fact that in Japanese culture, everyone has a ghost name. The design for the lobby became this idea that the spirit of Yamaski is wisping throughout. According to Deines, this created the concept of movement for the space’s design. A fluid, waving pattern continued this concept on the floor. Deines said terrazzo was the ideal material due to its longevity and customization. Made from pea gravel, travertine, different textured metals that resemble coins, and clear epoxy, the terrazzo combines the ode to Yamaski with the building’s rich history as a bank.


“It became this ‘arte povera’ (poor art) concept,” Deines said. “It (terrazzo) is a tried-and-true material. A ‘poor’ material done luxuriously.”

PROJECT NAME: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Detroit, MI)
CLIENT: Bedrock Real Estate Services (Detroit, MI)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Artisan Tile (Brighton, MI)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Sachse Construction (Detroit, MI)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIERS: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL) & Wausau Tile (Wausau, WI)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jeff White, Octane Photography Studio

NTMA 2014 Honor Awards

Each year, the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association (NTMA) celebrates the most interesting, creative, beautiful, and appealing terrazzo floors completed by NTMA contractors with its annual NTMA Honor Awards.

The awards honor the best terrazzo floors from the last year. Projects are judged on the basis of:

  • 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

Five experts and experience designers score the projects based on photos and a description of the job, but the project’s name, location, contractor, and all other parties involved with the construction are kept secret. Once the scores are tallied, the winners are announced, and the highest score receives the honor of “Job of the Year.”

This year, three NCTA members received Honor Awards for their work.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 
Detroit, MI
Artisan Tile


Originally built like a fortress in 1927, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit branch building was given new purpose as a retail and office space, with flooring that will make you stop on a dime.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland, OH
O.A. Bertin

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport’s walls and floors have become a permanent art gallery, as part
of Cleveland’s overall initiative to showcase its rich artistic and cultural diversity.

Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, MI
Michielutti Bros.

Crisler Center

To rise to the glory of “The Victors,” the University of Michigan’s Crisler Center was in need of a renewal, complete with banners flying with the floors – leading “The champions of the West” to victory.

Detailed posts about each project will be posted throughout the weekend, so make sure to check back!

Terrazzo Flooring in Healthcare: Part of a Hospital’s Plan for Patient Healing

DeVos Children's Hospital terrazzo

Art was not an afterthought at the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. It was part of the plan to promote healing its young patients and their parents—and integral to the building as a result.

The 206-bed children’s hospital features more than 600 works of art, many by local children. The building’s colorful terrazzo floors won an honorable mention at the 2011 NTMA Honor Awards.

One of the goals of the hospital was to create “a place where children would feel comfortable, happy, and hopeful, particularly when what they may be feeling as they enter the hospital is far from those emotions.”

Everywhere in the facility, which opened in January 2011, children have something cool to look at, much of it created by children. Images and colors of water, land, sky, and animals combine to create a sense of calm and healing, from the floors to the ceilings.

Terrazzo Contractor: Central Tile & Terrazzo (Kalamazoo, MI)

Architect: Jonathan Bailey & Associates, Rockwell Design  (Dallas, TX)

General Contractor: Turner/Wolverine Construction (Detroit, MI)

Owner: Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, MI)

Aggregate Supplier: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)

Celebrating a City’s Culture in Terrazzo

Harmonie Park terrazzo

Artist Hubert Massey works on a grand scale to celebrate culture. His latest outdoor project showcases the beauty and durability of terrazzo.

“My main ambition in urban communities in the United States is to make a difference by telling the history of our cultural richness,” Massey told Elizabeth Atkins of BLAC Detroit. “My art celebrates how much I love this city.”

Massey is known for creating large-scale public art in Detroit, where he lives. He is best known as a muralist, but he also loves terrazzo. His 72 foot-diameter terrazzo work “Genealogy” graces the rotunda floor in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

His latest terrazzo design, “Paradise Valley,” forms the walkway in Detroit’s Harmonie Park and pays homage to musicians, public figures, and community leaders who had an impact on the area. The people depicted in the terrazzo artwork include internationally recognized entertainers who toured the Paradise Valley area of Detroit.

The images were created by NCTA contractor Michielutti Bros. using rustic terrazzo murals surrounded by granite pavers. Massey chose rustic terrazzo because of its unlimited design and color potential, in addition to its durability in high traffic areas.

To allow the artist to skillfully depict the images in terrazzo, 12 custom colors were created. To overcome the challenge of weather—the murals are subjected to freezing temperatures as well as snow and ice—no divider strips were used. This required skillful attention to detail in the terrazzo work to realize the artist’s renditions of each figure and building.

The result is impressive and won contractor Michielutti Bros., Inc. a 2011 Honor Award from the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA).

Terrazzo Contractor: Michielutti Bros., Inc. (Eastpointe, MI)

Architect: Hamilton Anderson Associates (Detroit, MI)

Artist: Hubert Massey (Detroit,MI)

General Contractor: Jenkins Construction, Inc. (Detroit, MI)

Owner: City of Detroit-Downtown Development Authority

Aggregate Supplier: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)

Terrazzo Helps Travelers Go with the Flow

Kalamazoo terrazzo

Airports are typically filled with stressed-out travelers frazzled by delays, lines and security. RS&H Architecture, the architects of the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport terminal, hired SKP Design to help alleviate some of that stress.

Their solution was terrazzo.

Sondra Phillips, owner of SKP, oversaw the terrazzo river design that now stretches along the second floor bridge of the airport terminal. Phillips and the architects decided on terrazzo for its long lifespan and ability to convey the shimmer and swirls of an actual river with the use of recycled glass, mother of pearl, and stone.

SKP Design worked with contractor Central Tile & Terrazzo to execute their naturalistic vision for the terminal bridge on time and under budget.

The bridge has been easing travelers’ nerves while also representing the many treasured rivers that run through southwest Michigan since the new terminal’s opening in April 2011.

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

You can learn more about the NCTA here.