The Creative Rebirth of Terrazzo has Serious Flecks Appeal

The Creative Rebirth of Terrazzo has Serious Flecks Appeal

Centuries-old terrazzo is undergoing a major renaissance. Here are a few examples of how it’s being reimagined in a contemporary context.


Brodie Neill is pushing the creative reimagining of terrazzo.

Brodie Neill

If there’s one designer pushing terrazzo’s boundaries, it’s Australian-born . Only his terrazzo isn’t made with marble chips. So-called Ocean Terrazzo, a composite material he developed by blending resin with bits of plastic culled from seas and beaches, is his go-to medium these days. During the London Design Festival, Neill showed his Flotsam furniture line, which includes a two-legged bench (pictured) topped with Ocean Terrazzo. At the same time, he debuted Drop in the Ocean, a multi-media installation incorporating the material, at ME London, the hotel designed by . His aim, he says, is to prompt a rethink of plastics use, creating beauty out of waste in the process.



18 House's cladding lends a rare fluidity to terrazzo.

The washed-terrazzo facade of 18 House in Vietnam features a front door that doubles as a scooter entrance.

18 House

The qualities that have made terrazzo flooring desirable for centuries – strength, durability, a speckled elegance – are at play at 18 House, a tall, compact family home in a Ho Chi Minh City alley. Instead of pouring the material underfoot, however, the local architects behind the residence, Khuôn Studio and Phan Khac Tung, used it as exterior cladding, covering the building’s facade with a subtle blue-grey washed terrazzo punctuated at street level by a combination front door/scooter entrance (pictured) and by slit windows that regulate ventilation on the upper floors. Perhaps most unusually, the terrazzo was installed in a rippled fashion, lending it a rare fluidity.



Theo Williams Studio adds depth and shine to their terrazzo.

Theo Williams Studio’s Primo Terrazzo Tavolini tables for Another Brand come in a variety of sizes.

Primo Terrazzo Tavolini

Some 500 years ago, Venetian labourers began mixing leftover marble chips with clay to create cheap, durable flooring, using goat’s milk to seal it and to bring out its shine. Today, everything from marble, granite and quartz to recycled glass, porcelain and metal goes into making terrazzo, currently undergoing a creative rebirth – and in service of much more than floors. London’s , for one, looked to the mottled material when developing its Primo Terrazzo Tavolini for British manufacturer . Embedded in cement, the irregular, multi-hued fragments add depth and sparkle to the line’s geometric shapes, appearing timeless and timely at once.

This story was taken from the January / February 2018 issue of Buy a copy of the issue , or subscribe .

A word from our sponsors

A word from our sponsors