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.

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.

Winning Designs

terrazzo flooring design st. ignatius chicago

Winning Designs:

Highlights of beauty and quality

We proudly highlight some of the past National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA) honor award winners within the North Central Terrazzo Association (NCTA), to show the breadth, beauty and versatility of terrazzo flooring. Award-winning designs and installations from NCTA contractors include hospitals, colleges, research centers, sports arenas, transportation hubs, and churches.

The NTMA judges submissions of terrazzo installations each year and awards only the top projects in craftsmanship, scope and design. Founded in 1923, the NTMA establishes national standards for terrazzo installation. All members meet rigid proficiency standards while participating in continuing educational seminars. The NTMA generously provides complete specifications, color palettes and general information to architects and designers at no cost.

Terrazzo Targets Tomorrow’s Minds With Interactive Design

Brooks Elementary terrazzo

Brooks Elementary School isn’t your typical elementary school. You won’t find mascots on the walls or floor. The walls aren’t painted only school colors, and the school name around every corner.

Instead, you will find elegant geometric designs reminiscent of a high-end office building, with just the right pop of color to intrigue the young minds that walk the halls.

Throughout the project, Rosa Mosaic worked closely with the architecture firm discussing the high polish finish process, maintenance, and color development. These colors are reflected on the floors, walls, and ceilings, creating a vibrant and interactive educational space.

As soon as a student enters the school, this interaction begins with a broken star compass terrazzo design.

Brooks Elementary terrazzo hallway

“To the children, the broken star and the directions show that the elementary school is the center of their world and everything goes out north, south, east, and west from there,” Rosa Mosaic’s Anna Tatman said.

In another hallway a purple, green, and white checkerboard transitions into an orange and purple hopscotch pattern. “It’s very directional,” Tatman said. “It draws you into that corridor and makes you want to hop down the hall.”

No wonder the intriguing designs at Brooks won an NTMA Honor Award.

“The district was so very excited about the quality of finishes that were going into the building. They felt like terrazzo was an investment that was worthwhile because it would be helping to teach the minds of tomorrow,” Tatman said. “They really did put the dollars into where the kids were going to be. It’s a testimony to what we need to concentrate on when we work with schools—the kids.”

Brooks Elementary terrazzo corridor

Project: Brooks Elementary School (Brooks, KY)
Client: Bullitt County Public Schools (Shepherdsville, KY)
Terrazzo Contractor: Rosa Mosaic & Tile (Louisville, KY)
Architect: Sherman, Carter, Barnhart PSC (Louisville, KY)
General Contractor: Derek Engineering, Inc (Louisville, KY)
Material Suppliers
Resin Supplier: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
Aggregate Supplier: Southern Aggregates (Staley, NC)
Divider Strips: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co. (Staley, NC)
Photography: David Laudadio

NTMA Honor Awards: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

With more than 11 million visitors a year, the Cleveland Hopkins
International Airport serves as the first and last impression of the city to
many. To establish Cleveland as the artistic and culturally diverse
metropolitan that it is, the CLE Art Program was created.

The project transformed the airport into a local art gallery. Like most
galleries, some exhibits will come and go, but one will remain—the
Terrazzo Art Project. With a theme of “Cleveland—A Green City on a
Blue Lake (Past, Present & Future),” the flooring features artwork by
seven Northeast Ohio artists, including a group of local high schoolers
and a TSA officer.

During the renovation, more than 100,000 square feet of black carpet
was replaced with epoxy terrazzo. The retail space and concourse
include the locally designed artwork.

Cleveland Hopkins

“The artwork references the color and light patterns from Cleveland in a
very abstract fashion,” said Todd Mayher, project manager with Westlake
Reed Leskosky.

Cleveland Hopkins International was so thrilled with the results of the
renovation that it has chosen to move forward with more renovation,
adding terrazzo flooring in the remaining areas of the airport.

“It’s a hard surface for rolling luggage. It’s easy to clean,” Mayher said.
“It’s a timeless material. It will last a long time and won’t show its age.”

PROJECT NAME: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (Cleveland, OH)
CLIENT: Cleveland Port Authority
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: O.A. Bertin Company (Cleveland, OH)
ARCHITECT: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Cleveland, OH)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Kokosing Construction Company (Fredericktown,OH)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIERS: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Anita Bertin DeGreen

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!

A New Terrazzo Resource and Marketing Tool

The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association (NTMA) has created an authoritative resource on its site. Terrazzo types and systems information can be found here.

The web page features clearly labeled diagrams for six different types of terrazzo:

Epoxy Terrazzo

Sand Cushion Terrazzo

Bonded Terrazzo

Monolithic Terrazzo

Polyacrylate Terrazzo

Rustic Bonded Terrazzo
Rustic Monolithic Terrazzo

Guide specifications with or without LEED certification information can be downloaded in both PDF and Word doc formats. 3-D renderings can also be downloaded in PDF, as well as a CAD-ready DWG file.

This new online guide to the finest details of terrazzo should serve as an excellent resource for people wanting to learn more about the beautiful, durable, and environmentally friendly surface.

To view more terrazzo samples, visit the NCTA’s Design Gallery.

NTMA Honors Awards 2011

Yum center terrazzo

A hearty congratulations to the Rosa Mosaic and Tile Company, of Louisville, Kentucky, for creating the best terrazzo flooring in the country in 2010! The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA) Job of the Year went to Rosa Mosaic for 19,000 square feet of terrazzo installed at the KFC Yum! Center. The arena seats 22,000 sports fans and serves as the home court for the University of Louisville Cardinals basketball team.

A vibrant color palette of red, white, black, and yellow, graces the main lobby and the grand staircase. Rosa Mosaic also won an Honor award this year for the terrazzo hallways at Brooks Elementary School in Brooks, Kentucky. Rosa Mosaic was founded by Italian immigrant Louis Rosa in 1937. Louis hired another immigrant, John Cristofoli, in 1950, and today the Christofoli family continues providing excellent terrazzo.

Other 2011 Honor Award Winners featuring NCTA members include:

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.