Not Just for Floors: Seamless and Solid
Terrazzo can be applied vertically for walls, stairs, seating area panels, columns, and more. It can be poured in place or precast in the contractor’s shop. The following old and new award-winning projects demonstrate the flexibility and beauty of terrazzo for creative design and durability in high-traffic areas.
Tacoma Union Station, Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Union Station was built in 1911. Over 100 years later, its original terrazzo was restored, earning an NTMA 2012 Honor Award in the Special Renovation category. The original cement-based terrazzo installation included floors, walls, and stairs. The preservation of existing materials was a priority on this LEED Platinum-certified project. For repairs, the original matrix and aggregate colors were matched with new materials. Missing pieces were reconstructed by hand with stone and epoxy to match the original. All areas were then lightly refinished and resealed.
Central High School, St. Joseph, MS
Another Special Renovation Award from NTMA was presented in 2012 for this project. Terrazzo artisans created new staircases to match the century-old master quality of the original existing staircases. These new staircases, replicated with ADA compliance, are indistinguishable from the original terrazzo throughout the school. Along with duplicating treads, risers, and stringers, the stairways featured rounded corners on a three-story continuous balustrade to form the continuous spiral from one story to the next.
Pacific Gate Condominiums, San Diego, CA
The terrazzo floor with custom brass ring inserts in this 2019 Honor Award recipient is a neutral backdrop to the textured walls with terrazzo wall panels. A challenge on the project was setting the contoured terrazzo fascia panels along a curved wall ten feet high. The precast panels were predrilled, then attached to one side of the plywood substrate. A heat gun was applied to the panel to bend it to the wall, then attach it to the other side.
Los Angeles International Airport Bradley West Concourses, Los Angeles, CA
The 2014 NTMA Job of the Year is in the terminal expansion of one of the world’s largest and busiest airports. This installation’s poured-in-place terrazzo ceilings wrap up the high walls and onto the ceilings at each of the 14 gate portals. The 11,000 square feet of wall and ceiling terrazzo were ground by hand.
Battery Park City Branch Public Library, NYC, NY
This striking terrazzo installation at the first LEED-certified branch in Manhattan is a 2011 NTMA Honor Award recipient in the category of Special Craftsmanship. The seamless poured-in-place terrazzo staircase and seating area, walls, stairs, and ceiling were all hand poured and ground as one monolithic piece. For a seamless look, the staircase is poured without the use of divider strips.
Emancipation Park Community Center, Houston, TX
This 2018 NTMA Honor Award winner boasts impressive precast epoxy terrazzo work. Terrazzo panels are installed on the desks, walls, and base to complement the floor. The precast panels, a total of 1,500 square feet in several sizes, are connected with terrazzo strips and hand-ground for a seamless appearance.
Tidewater Community College, Richmond, VA
The focal point of the NTMA 2010 Honor Award winner at Tidewater Community College is a sculptural element. The intent was to create horizontal seating at multiple levels and act as an ADA barrier in place of using handrails underneath the stairs. The framework is an artistic installation of poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo which required the technicians to work with a full assortment of hand grinding tools to grind and polish edges in tight spaces. The sculpture serves as a public showcase of functional art in architecture.
Fairlane Hotel, Nashville
This remarkable renovation that transformed a bank into a hotel in the city’s art district earned both a 2019 Historic Preservation Award from the local Historic Commission and a 2020 NTMA Honor Award. The luxurious floor-to-ceiling terrazzo in the restrooms and the terrazzo panels on the bar front were poured-in-place.
The Understory in Bank of America Tower
The first LEED v4 Platinum Core & Shell certified project in the nation is also NTMA’s 2020 terrazzo Job of the Year. Traditional sand-cushion cement terrazzo with large Venetian aggregates and heavy-top divider strips is installed in the basement of the 35-story office tower. The terrazzo on the floors, ramps, and stairs is all poured-in-place.