The choice of a terrazzo floor conveys many things about a place. The material’s vibrant gloss and intricate possibilities speak to luxury; its wear-resistant durability means it’s often used in high-traffic areas; and terrazzo’s popularity for hospitals, schools, and institutions tends to lend an air of credibility and trust anywhere terrazzo is used. But more than this: terrazzo is a great way to use floor space to convey any message you choose! Whether it’s a bold statement logo for a lobby opening or arrows and lettering to help with walking navigation through hospital wings, terrazzo can accommodate designs with intricate signage, graphics, and icons that get your message across.
If you want to make a big visual statement without losing wall space, terrazzo flooring is a great option. Like mosaic, terrazzo is both a flooring technique and an art form. Though you can certainly create simple, monotone or understated floors with terrazzo, the method really shines when it’s used to dramatic visual effect. Terrazzo is often used in institutions or public community spaces for mural-like art that celebrates or commemorates, as in this community installation for Detroit’s Harmonie Park. Murals are a great way to highlight accomplishments, honored public figures, and shared values, and they really set a tone for any space. Using a durable material like terrazzo to accomplish the effect in flooring ensures visual impact with longevity.
What will you say with a terrazzo floor mural? The sky’s the limit! A public park or community building might choose to highlight community leaders and public figures, as the Harmonie Park example does, or it might celebrate other things for which the community is well-known. A corporation with a long and storied past might use a terrazzo floor mural to create a visual timeline, or highlight historical markers. Terrazzo murals are especially popular in Children’s Hospitals, where they can really brighten up and enliven an otherwise institutional space.
Another popular way to embed information in terrazzo floor design projects is to take advantage of the method’s ability to inlay signs, directional arrows, or guiding lines in flooring. Why shouldn’t your floor do more for you? Cut down on help desk requests by embedding signs and arrows pointing the way to popular areas, restrooms, stairs and escalators right in lobby and hallway floors. Signal how shared space is to be used with subtle shifts in color and floor design to direct footpaths. We tend to naturally follow patterns and colors as we walk with only visual prompting, so this can be a surprisingly subtle way to improve traffic flows around a busy area. Lines, arrows, and color flows can be used in more abstract ways to suggest movement, draw the eye, or just to add interest to a space.
Terrazzo’s ability to depict custom graphics and signage make it the perfect option for a proud logo display. Logos are one of the most popular choices for large flooring designs in terrazzo, as it’s a great way to show pride and mark a community space. Schools often use terrazzo for designs that show off the team mascot, logo, and colors, and the logo pride angle is common for government institutions and corporations as well. Even the most simple logo can be made to look impressive when enlarged in a high-quality terrazzo floor design, offering automatic ‘wow’ factor.
Another understated way to use terrazzo to prop up branding is to use subtle icons that reinforce your brand in some way, like this simple airplane design for an airport.
Now you’ve seen what others have done–what will you say with terrazzo?