Architects and designers looking to offer terrazzo to commercial property developers face a curious problem. For public projects like fire stations or libraries, architects typically stress that terrazzo, though expensive to install, costs much less to maintain in the long run. But for a developer with plenty of capital looking to build a luxury office or condominium tower, the initial cost is not likely to be an issue.
In fact, sometimes for these developers terrazzo is not expensive enough. Ryan von Drehle, an architect with GREC Associates in Chicago, observes that clients for private projects often see terrazzo as less prestigious because they associate it with institutional use. “A lot of private clients would rather use stone or marble,” von Drehle says. “They ask, ‘Wouldn’t you expect terrazzo in a hospital or school?'”
To resolve the problem, an architect can stress to a commercial developer that terrazzo can create a statement in a competitive market. A property owner can invite visitors to walk on a remarkable work of art, a splash of color and design that makes the property stand out among its peers.
Like an elegant piece of art, the idea is to turn heads. From entrance to elevator, terrazzo flooring provides far more flexibility and artistry than granite or marble.