Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham

Profiles in Terrazzo


William Ketcham
Architect, Principal
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.

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham
Ravenswood Kinowerks

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.

Profiles in Terrazzo: William Ketcham
Old Town School of Folk Music

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.

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.

March Madness, Terrazzo Strength

March Madness, Terrazzo Strength

March Madness, Terrazzo Strength

Terrazzo Brings Energy to the Court

Whether you’re shouting, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!” or “Go Blue!” the terrazzo designs in sports arenas are sure to boost your energy. Players and fans alike will get a ready for the big game in an atmosphere that exudes team spirit. Arenas set with logos, team colors, and college fight songs make the March Madness crowds flowing through the corridors, stairwells, and main floor ready to cheer on their team. They’ve been waiting all season to see their teams go all the way.

Not only can terrazzo fill the space with school spirit, it can withstand the heavy traffic of the dense cheering crowds. The fans rushing over the floors won’t see a crack, chip, or hole.

This video shows the bold college logos, the lively team colors, the intricate designs that convey the core team spirit. These energetic and durable designs can empower the teams to push harder and electrify the spectators to roar even louder.

Terrazzo Creates Perfect Chemistry Between Science and Art

Silverman Hall
More often than not, science and art are seen as opposite sides of the spectrum. Logic versus creativity. Reality versus imagination. Right brain versus left brain.

But if you take a look at the remarkable terrazzo floors in the Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics and Diagnostics, you will find that one without the other is impossible. The terrazzo teaches you that science is beautiful and artwork is one of the grandest experiments in the world.

Soon after John Caretti & Co. was awarded the terrazzo project for a new science and medicine research facility at Northwestern University, the school received a donation from Dr. Richard Silverman, a chemistry professor at the college. This donation was made possible by royalties received from Lyrica, an innovative therapy drug developed by Silverman for neuropathic diseases.

Silverman Hall Terrazzo Molecule

The decision was then made to add metalwork to the terrazzo that showed the significance of science. Among the shades of green and cream terrazzo lay intricately detailed inlays of the periodic table, single strands of the helix shape, elements and molecules, and the chemical molecule makeup of Lyrica, the drug that helped to fund the research facility. These designs not only reflect the areas and research of the university, but serve as linking elements throughout the building.

“Silverman Hall is designed to enhance interactions and collaborations among colleagues,” Anita Ambriz of Ambriz Graphic Design, the environmental graphic design firm for the project, said.

Silverman Hall terrazzo periodic table

According to Ambriz, the terrazzo was chosen for its beauty, design flexibility, low maintenance, durability, and its compliance with the university’s green technology requirement. As a sustainable flooring option, terrazzo contributed to Silverman Hall’s Silver LEED certification.

“We adjusted the aggregates within a limited palette to create subtlety in the imagery,” Ambriz said. “No other flooring material seemed to offer this possibility

PROJECT NAME: The Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics and Diagnostics
CLIENT: Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co. (Morton Grove, IL)
ARCHITECT: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP (Los Angeles, CA)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Turner Construction Company (Chicago, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER CHIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company (Staley, NC)
PRECAST WORK: Wausau Tile (Wausau, WI)
GRAPHIC DESIGN CONSULTANT: Ambriz Graphic Design (Chicago, IL)
PHOTOGRAPHY: John Caretti & Co. (Morton Grove, IL) and Mark Ballogg (Chicago, IL)

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