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.

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

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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.

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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.

Terrazzo Takes Flight

Gerald R. Ford International Airport terrazzo floor design at the security checkpoint from NCTA

Terrazzo Takes Flight

Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, MI

A flowing terrazzo design laid the groundwork for the $45 million Gateway Transformation Project. The architects used the powerful terrazzo design, combined with lighting, to streamline the space and direct passengers through design.

The design radiates from the new consolidated security checkpoint sweeping down the corridors through the retail spaces to the departure gates. The terrazzo pattern ties together amenities, play areas, and exhibits creating a comfortable space to await your next flight. The cool color palette and ambient lighting brings calmness to this bustling transportation hub.

Not only does the pattern complement the overall project design, its durability and longevity made terrazzo a natural choice to meet demands of the high-traffic space. The flooring will maintain its radiance and integrity over time, even with heavy usage. Passengers can rush to their gates, Skycap services can ride through the halls, and airline crew can smoothly wheel their luggage to their next flight seamlessly without impact to this beautiful design.

After another record-breaking year for passenger numbers at Gerald R. Ford International airport, terrazzo strength is critical.

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PROJECT NAME: Gerald R. Ford International Airport – Consolidated Checkpoint and Marketplace
OWNER/CLIENT: Gerald R. Ford International Airport
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Central Tile & Terrazzo Co., Inc.
ARCHITECT: Alliiance (Minneapolis, MN)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: The Christman Company (Grand Rapids, MI)
EPOXY SUPPLIER: Sherwin Williams
TEMPLATE/STENCILS: Creative Edge Master Shop
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

Gerald R. Ford International Airport terrazzo floor design from NCTA

Terrazzo: Your imagination is the only limit on the table

Grand Victoria Casino's main floor pattern

Terrazzo: Your imagination is the only limit on the table

Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, IL

At the Grand Victoria Casino, the bold colors and striking terrazzo patterns make the floor buzz with energy. The eye-catching design was installed to replace the existing slate tile floor as part of a $4 million, 20th anniversary renovation.

Covering 10,000 square feet, this nine-color design brings the feeling of limitless possibility to Northern Illinois. The terrazzo pattern works with the overall contemporary interior design, complementing the updated fixtures, fresh colors on the walls, and even the sleek gold lines on the gaming tables.

The Grand Victoria Casino never closes. The installation had to be flexible to accommodate the business operations and minimize impact to the customer experience. The crew was able to complete full construction of this intricate pattern while the building was open 24/7.

Bright lights, vibrant colors, the rushing clatter of a payout, and terrazzo make this casino a place to play, dine, and be entertained.

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PROJECT NAME: Grand Victoria Casino Concourse Renovation
OWNER/CLIENT: Grand Victoria Casino (Elgin, IL)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co (Morton Grove, IL)
ARCHITECT: Thalden Emery Architects, LLC. (St. Louis, MO)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Pepper Construction LLC. (Chicago, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian, FotoGrafix

main level of Grand Victoria Casino terrazzo with clock and escalators

The Spirit of Louisville

Louisville airport terrazzo pattern by the airport shops

The Spirit of Louisville

Louisville International Airport, Louisville, KY

When you walk through the Louisville International Airport, the spirit of the city unfolds in a cultural treasure trove, mapped on the airport’s award-winning terrazzo floor.

The energy of the race comes through with bold patterns of horseshoes, silks, and jockey helmets. You can get a glimpse of a flying horse in the night sky with a celestial inlay of the Pegasus constellation.

Vibrant fleurs-de-lis bring in elements of the city seal and the Louisville heritage. Louisville Sluggers radiate in starburst patterns. Bourbon barrels form playful spheres. Violins delicately shadow the floor.

Not only will you find the themes that share the air of Louisville, you will find striking and sophisticated linear patterns with cool colors that welcome you to the departure gates.

As part of a $9.5 million Terminal Enhancement Project, the terrazzo design covers main floors, corridors, and stairwells. Overall, the design used 31,000 linear feet of divider strip and 32 colors of epoxy terrazzo. Each color shines and each inlay sparkles in this intricate design that brings the spirit of Louisville to the millions of travelers that walk through this terminal.

The design and installation won a prestigious 2018 Honor Award from the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA).

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PROJECT NAME: Louisville International Airport Terminal Enhancement Project
OWNER/CLIENT: Louisville Regional Airport Authority (Louisville, KY)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Rosa Mosaic & Tile Company (Louisville, KY)
ARCHITECT: Alliiance (Minneapolis, MN) and Stengel Hill Architecture (Louisville, KY)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Wehr Constructors Inc. (Louisville, KY)
EPOXY RESIN SUPPLIER: Key Resin Company (Batavia, OH)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company (Staley, NC)
AGGREGATE SUPPLIERS: Arim, Inc.; Klein & Company; Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies
PHOTOGRAPHY: Tim Furlong Jr.

long corridor with terrazzo flooring in Louisville International Airport terminal