National Terrazzo Craftsmanship Award Announced for Museum of Science and Industry

BRASS INSERTS from the previous floor were repurposed in the award-winning floor.

Columns and walls are clad in terrazzo.

VERTICAL TERRAZZO was applied by hand on floor-to-celing columns at the museum’s newly remodeled food court.

Workman applies terrazzo by hand to a column.

TERRAZZO was troweled and ground by hand on columns, walls, and ceilings.

The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association has recognized John Caretti & Co. for the handcrafted terrazzo project.

The columns are a beautiful focal point that bring design and durability to a high-traffic area.”

— Chad Rakow, vice president, John Caretti & Co.

CHICAGO, IL, US, August 23, 2023/ — The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association (NTMA) has recognized John Caretti & Co. for a terrazzo installation completed in the Museum of Science and Industry. The project was presented with a Judges’ Choice Craftsmanship designation in the trade association’s annual Honor Awards program.

Entries are judged on aesthetics, craftsmanship, and scope. One of 18 such recognitions presented this year, the award was announced at the association’s 100th annual national convention in Lake Como, Italy.

Established in 1884, John Caretti & Co. is one of the nation’s oldest terrazzo contractors. The Morton Grove, Illinois, company is a charter member of the NTMA.

In the museum’s remodeled food court, epoxy terrazzo was poured in place on the floor and hand-troweled and hand-polished on ceilings, walls, and 22 columns in the 14,000-square-foot project. Working on scaffolding, the contractor applied over 3,000 square feet of terrazzo on 32 walls; another 450 square feet were laid on the nine-foot-high ceilings. In an elegant example of in situ recycling, two-by-two-inch brass inserts from the existing terrazzo were repurposed in the new floor.

This terrazzo installation continues a tradition of well-preserved original terrazzo in the oldest sections of the museum, one of the world’s largest science centers. The museum is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts, originally built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It is the only remaining building constructed for the White City exhibit, which honored the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World.

The NTMA’s annual Honor Award program recognizes outstanding terrazzo projects its members submit. It promotes member contractors as the sole qualified resource for terrazzo installations that meet the highest industry standards. Terrazzo veterans and design professionals evaluate submitted entries.

The NTMA, a 148-member, full-service nonprofit trade association headquartered in Fredericksburg, Texas, celebrates its centennial this year. The NTMA establishes national standards for terrazzo systems for floor and vertical applications. Its mission is to promote quality craftsmanship and creativity in terrazzo while supporting its members in their trade and service to the construction industry. The NTMA’s full range of free services extends to architects, interior designers, artists, general contractors, maintenance professionals, and property owners. From helping the design community write specifications to providing technical assistance at any project stage, the NTMA’s goal is to help ensure quality terrazzo installations.

Terrazzo originated in 15th-century Italy, a direct descendant of the mosaic artistry of ancient Rome. One of the world’s original sustainable building systems, terrazzo evolved through the resourcefulness of Venetian marble workers as they discovered a creative way to reuse discarded stone chips. Terrazzo artisans still pour terrazzo by hand on the construction site, with options for precast and waterjet-cut elements. Stone, recycled glass, or other aggregates, often sourced locally, are embedded in a cement or epoxy base. The surface is then ground and polished to reveal the aggregates. Terrazzo combines design flexibility with ease of maintenance and durability to last the life of the building.

Chad Rakow
John Caretti & Co.
+1 847-581-0017
[email protected]
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National Terrazzo Craftsmanship Award Announced for John Caretti & Co. for the Museum of Science and Industry

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