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 Turns a High School into a Signature Building for a Community

Terrazzo Turns a High School into a Signature Building for a Community

Terrazzo Turns a High School into a Signature Building for a Community

Hart County High School, Munfordville, KY

When the Hart County Board of Education decided the county’s only high school needed to be replaced, it was no small project. Not only did the new high school need to be built on the same campus, it had to be in the same place. During the project, students were housed in one wing of the old building while the new building was erected.

Architect Kenny Stanfield knew terrazzo flooring was perfect for the high school. Terrazzo has “an aesthetic quality to it, and its durability makes it great for high foot traffic areas such as hallways, cafeterias, and lobbies.”


The terrazzo design capitalized on academic themes to create wayfinding throughout the school. DNA strands indicate the science wing, while the music wing features musical notes and staffs. Similar thematic designs were used for such areas as agriculture or humanities. Terrazzo not only provided wayfinding but also created a thematic definition for the building.

The intricate terrazzo designs help set the school apart, making it a distinctive building in the county. As the only high school in the county, Hart County High School is an important community building. Since every child goes to that building for education, it becomes a community unifier where everyone feels welcome and wants to be. “Terrazzo helped make it a signature building,” asserted Stanfield.

PROJECT NAME: Hart County High School
OWNER/CLIENT:  Hart County Board of Education
TILE INSTALLATION: Martina Brothers Co, Inc.
ARCHITECT: Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Alliance Corporation
PRECAST SUPPLIER: Venosa Precast Terrazzo

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: 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

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.

Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date

aon chicago amici terrazzo

Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date

AON Center Chicago, Chicago, IL

A hospitality-focused lobby brings comfort, warmth, and openness to the AON Center, a mid-century modern Chicago architectural icon.

The redesign of the commercial office lobby pays homage to the original International Style architecture. As a space with multiple lobbies and pathways, the flooring works with other design details to maintain cohesion in light and space.

“The design of the terrazzo is not flashy or over the top. It is intended to be beautiful and timeless, to honor the iconic nature of the building,” says Shawn Fawell, AIA, who managed the project for the Chicago office of Gensler, a global architecture and design firm.

The contractor worked creatively to render interesting patterns in the terrazzo and to cut the terrazzo build time in half, by keeping the existing floor grid, rather tearing up the original floor and starting from scratch.

Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date
The old terrazzo flooring
Terrazzo: Bringing an iconic office building up to date
The new terrazzo flooring

Click below to view larger.

PROJECT NAME: AON Center Chicago Lobby & Retail
OWNER/CLIENT: 601W Companies
ARCHITECT: Gensler, Chicago

DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes, Inc.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

Presence Resurrection Hospital Chapel, Chicago, IL

After a devastating fire in the Chapel at Presence Resurrection Hospital in December 2014, a full restoration was required. The chapel had provided over 60 years of solace and support. Its destruction was a loss for the whole community. But out of the fire came an opportunity for renewal. It was a chance to create a new environment to provide a comfort to visitors and meet their spiritual needs.

The terrazzo design was crafted to bring unity to the space. The design has elements used throughout the chapel. The stars inlayed around the font match the over 800 stars in the astral pattern on the ceiling. The color palette complements the statuary, furnishings, and original marble used in the reredos and throughout. The straight lines mirror the leadlines of the stained glass. Even the brass divider strips carry elements that augment the gold leafing and lend continuity to the design. This timeless design creates a sanctuary that will bolster the community for years to come.

Click to view larger.

PROJECT NAME: Presence Resurrection Chapel
OWNER/CLIENT: Presence Health Network
ARCHITECT: Domenella Architects
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Terrazzo Provides Renewal

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.