Profiles in Terrazzo
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.
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.
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.