Greens in Architecture: Plants as Part of Urban Space

Exterior Tiles and Other Outdoor Flooring Options - Terrazzo Australian Marble

Cities are getting more crowded and urban planners are scrambling to understand how spaces can be developed to balance healthy spaces with rising demand for convenience and comfort. Integrating greens into design does more than just achieving a balanced theme of concrete and nature. It enhances the concepts of spatial distribution, expansion of sight and freedom of space.  

How can plants be part of urban space and what can be their purpose?  

  1. Shrubs for edgings – When using Terrazzo External paver, shrubs can be used for edgings to foot paths or outline the space to create lines and borders between sections. Shrubs can even further define the theme of the space through the type of shrub one will choose for edging. Contemporary designs can use pointy or clean-cut plants that can make the design sleek and well-defined.  
  2. Trees as barriers – When trying to separate one view from another, or even covering up unpleasant views, trees can be used as barriers. It gives emphasis to the area where the elements are more coherent with the plants. If, for example, one tries to separate the plain parking space from the rest of the amenities, trees can serve as barriers to take the view away from the parking space and refocus it to the amenities area. This can be further guided by the correct flooring design.  
  3. Climbers as accents – Climbers can definitely add effects to a rather plain space. If parking spaces are plain, but the designer’s objective is not to separate it from the rest of the structure but to make that space a part of the experience, climbers can definitely give accent to a plain wall. Bamboo and other sleek trees can also be lined on the wall to give the same effect. Adding a small flooring segment, terrazzo tiles floor or paver, to emphasize the climbers can also be considered.  

Planning to integrate plants into the design is a fantastic option to bring out the personality of the structure. Choosing the right flooring will surely have an impact to the design. Consult providers such as Terrazzo Australian Marble to provide the best recommendations for flooring to match your choice of plants for your designs.  

Terrazzo Restoration: Holes and Chips in Terrazzo Partitions and Flooring

One of the most common issues after the normal wear and tear of terrazzo partitions and flooring would be the holes and chips on the edges or on the surface. Since terrazzo is normally composed of decorative chips of marble, getting one of those “small holes” on the surface can lead to a much faster degradation of the flooring. This is where restoration is crucial.

insitu terrazzo

When providing prices for restoring chip and holes for floorings, many customers would think this is an easy “fill-in” process which they could get for free from any terrazzo company in Sydney or any parts of Australia. Truth of the matter is, filling a small hole in Terrazzo takes as much time and effort as laying out the whole terrazzo partition. Many companies would simply fill the hole with a white binder, level it, let it dry and come back with color markers / paint to match the existing color of the rest of the terrazzo.   

Terrazzo Australian Marble does more than just filling with a white binder and coloring it with paint. We color the binder to match the cement we used to begin with. We dedicate a lot of time preparing for the hole to be filled than most of the terrazzo suppliers in the market. Our technicians are specifically trained to identify the pigment properly in order to get a great match to the existing terrazzo. Since our terrazzos are made of hundreds of different types and sizes of stones, we make sure that our technicians have the eye to match the existing material, and level the floor properly after filling the hole or chip.    

For terrazzo at residential and home structures, a lot of the questions raised are for repairing chips due to carpeting. Indeed, there are several ways to fill holes and chips in terrazzo flooring. But due to cost-cutting of suppliers or restorers, and to meet the expectations of homeowners, terrazzo companies end up patching with white binders and painting the stone after. Painted stone against the perfect finish of terrazzo across the room is highly noticeable and degrades the overall value of the flooring.  Our technicians discuss this outcome to the homeowner even before implementing the solution. There are some homeowners who would agree to this process, but as much as possible we do not implement this approach. It is a waste of money to “repair” and restore terrazzo with a substandard approach, as this same chip and hole can be the cause of a much greater damage in the future. It is ideal to start with a UV stable white epoxy and match the pigment as closely as we can to the cement. We would then add rocks to match the stones in the floor. After which, we then fill the hole further to level the to the floor and grind it flat once it’s settled. This approach gives the best result possible, as it matches to around 80% to 90% of the original flooring or partition.  

Top Elements and Designs for the Hospitality Sector

The hospitality, travel and tourism industry continue to be one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors, with bookings hitting over $1 trillion in 2017. According to Deloitte, the hotel industry is projected to sustain around 5 to 6 percent growth in 2018 alone. Hoteliers are continuously looking for places to develop ecosystems of attractions, hotels, and full-service shops to grow markets and market share.

Designing the experience takes the top spot in the list of priorities for hoteliers. Depending on local competitive landscape, hoteliers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of setting the interiors apart from its surrounding, making the hotels an “escape from the usual”. Specifically for hoteliers in the urban landscapes, experimenting with materials for interior differentiation is a significant challenge. There are trends that can be noted for hoteliers considering an overhaul or a construction of a highly differentiated hotel.

terrazzo australian marble

1. Nostalgic Terrazzo – Given the flexibility of implementation, Terrazzo is seeing a major comeback in the hospitality industry. Whether it’s insitu terrazzo for pouring on-site to achieve a flawless finish, or terrazzo tiles for modular designs, having this classic material in the hotel interiors sets the mood for class against the chaos of the urban jungle.

2. Pastel oasis – As hotels slowly attract young visitors whose spending capacity are slowly increasing, designs are also aligning wtih their preferences. Going beyond the toned-down pinks, mint greens, lazy lavenders, and hazy yellows, terrazzo tiles for the floors and walls present a wide range of pastel colors as well. This gives hoteliers the chance to carry out non-conventional colors with a heavy-duty material.

3. Monotone and earth elements – Tiles and insitu terrazzo can also accommodate very earthy elements, such as dirt-, clay-, sand-inspired colors. This style is making a come back in the hotels as well due to the influence of the 1970s style, while showing tenants more relaxed hues closer to nature.

4. Modern geometry – Playing around with straight edges and lines is another trend for hotels which are taking a more contemporary theme versus the classic approach. Solid colors with a secondary tone, laid out in clean and edgy structures is also a defining design for urban hotels.

 

Not many companies can deliver flooring and wall solutions like Terrazzo Australian Marble can. Being in business for several years, Terrazzo Australian Marble knows the requirements of similar huge structures as hotels. Make sure to get the right flooring and fixtures partner for your business if you’re in the hospitality industry, or servicing clients in the same industry.

Urban Design Trends: A Generation Influencing Urban Design

As we get closer to the end of another decade, design seems to have slowly but surely changed in the past 20 years since the early Y2K. It continues to challenge and define the tastes of the outgoing and new generations. The “middle” generation – the millennials – seems to be slowly defining design as they move onto the more stable years of their lives. As they seek to purchase property, expand their experiences through space and immersive activities, millennials are pushing the boundaries of design and challenging the industry to merge modern and classics. Why? Millennials continue to be the connection between the days when technology and the internet have not yet been “consumerized and the days when every bit of information is readily available on a smart phone. Their taste in design is therefore a fusion of the old days and the new times. They’re setting a worldwide trend of defining spaces through materials and texture. 

1. The Real Estate twist.

Millennials are starting to invest in real estate – whether it’s land and property or a small condominium unit, they are pouring in resources to dressing up their properties. From fancy outdoor reception and barbecue areas with wood accents and leather furniture, to posh bathrooms with terrazzo partitions and terrazzo marble, the design for real estate has never this demanding and varied.  

 2. The Retail experience re imagined

In the beginning of their generation, Millennials were glued to their screens and incapable of leaving technology behind. But, as they make efforts to “silence the noise”, as they miss the “good old days” without technology, they are trying to find a respite from the chaos and balancing online activities with physical activities. This is translated even onto their purchasing and shopping behaviors. A young Australian, for example, shops for clothes online but still enjoys the walk to his regular retail shop. Retail experience is therefore being reimagined to further engage this generation. From enhancing the façade designs of the shop with texture that could stand out from the typical building walls, to dressing up the interiors with interesting colors for floors and shelves, there is an evident effort to reimagine this whole experience based on the desires and preferences of this generation that has the capacity to spend and a disposable income. 

 3. Food halls and community spaces restructured. 

Millennials are also going back to community gatherings and spaces where they can both enjoy technology and physical activities. Food halls and community spaces are seeing a revamp not only in their purpose but in design and structure. This is also why co-working spaces is a booming business as it helps bring together communities while staying connected to the internet and enjoying functional comfort and spatial design.  

As more designers understand this changing trend for urban spaces, it is crucial to get partners and suppliers who can provide top-class solutions for design challenges. Terrazzo Australian Marble is a known supplier of Terrazzo Tiles, Partitions, and Precast solutions for urban spaces and projects. Contact us today to get a hand in executing the right Terrazzo solutions to your projects.  

 

Choosing the Right Terrazzo Flooring for Healthcare and Medical Facilities

Terrazzo has been a material of choice for the flooring buildings of all types, serving different purposes. Known to fit flexible and elegant designs and requirements, its seamless and non-porous finish makes it the best choice for hospitals requiring constant disinfecting and maintenance on flooring. Terrazzo tiles can be easily laid out for construction projects requiring fast turnaround as well, making it the top choice for construction companies offering solutions to healthcare organizations.  

Possibilities with Terrazzo in Concrete Partitions

Before considering Terrazzo for medical facilities, below are some tips to help both the management of the medical organization and the construction partner decide on and approve the design for their flooring requirements. 

  • Review the brand and aim for consistency  – Many construction companies tend to propose designs based on their past experiences on similar projects. Coming into the room with the management of the medical organization and proposing designs based on “experience” may not usually be the best approach. In fact, it is best if the management and the construction team can review the brand of the organization to at least get the mood and theme to carry out. Is the medical facility aiming to be positioned as a premium brand, providing high-quality medical services? Perhaps an elegant terrazzo color at the lobby to highlight the Brand Signage could complement this branding, instead of just a plain white or grey color, typical for medical facilities.
  • Choose colors aside from single or plain hues – Following the first tip on reviewing the brand, matching colors with the logo isn’t always a requirement. In fact, selecting complementary colors to the brand is one of the more difficult tasks for the terrazzo supplier. Going beyond the color guidelines is a bold but worthy move if you’re you choose Terrazzo flooring because Terrazzo offers a lot of color options. Choose two to three complementary colors close to the branding of the organization. 
  • Maximize for wayfinding  – One of the missed opportunities when terrazzo is used for flooring is maximizing the design to support wayfinding. One of the most common questions to medical staff is “Where’s the bathroom?” Or “Where’s the café in the building?” While clear signage can help, flooring designs can usually support and make this conversation much easier. “Go down the hall towards the ‘blue area’ to find the cafeteria” is much easier than describing door numbers or the vending machine leading to the same facility. This is useful to clearly separate sections of the building such as the Emergency Area, Lobby, Café, Lounge, Quiet spaces, etc. 
  • Align with other “branches”, if existing  – Another common item overlooked during the construction is whether this facility is a standalone facility or if it has to be aligned with a pre-existing facility.  It is important to align the design with the other pre-existing structures, if any. Depending on the preference / approval of building management, this tip is good to keep in mind and include in the discussions for laying out the terrazzo flooring. 
  • Plan and design for expansion 

Another key point to remember is to make sure that the terrazzo flooring design is “ready” for future facilities expansion. Technical requirements, fluidity, and replacements should be considered if, in the future, the building management decides to expand the area, requiring the flooring to either be partially deconstructed or replaced.  

For more information on how you can maximize terrazzo flooring for medical and healthcare facilities, best to consult the top terrazzo supplier.