Terrazzo Flooring – a trip down memory lane
In Layman’s Terms (A Non-Architect’s Point of View)
A Blog by Miranda Paquette
The Globe & Mail announced back on September 21, 2017 that Terrazzo was being rediscovered. This is huge! Why they buried the article on page L3 I will never know. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment since I became an adult.
Terrazzo floors are the comforting standard of my childhood. I spent several years at École Élémentaire Catholique Sainte-Anne, yes the one in Lower Town, so yes, I will never embrace York Street Public School, my apologies to Brian Doyle; what I remember most are the terrazzo floors. The walls were painted concrete block which, no matter how much paint accumulated, they still had a sand-paper-like texture, but the floors were always smooth and cool. In my day we were allowed to walk around in socks, which meant we could always feel the wonderful glide of the concrete/marble/glass mix.
Terrazzo floors were also part of family trips to see my grandmother in New Hampshire. We always stopped at the Pointe-Claire mall on the way for a snack before taking on the traffic of the Champlain Bridge. I once fell in the curvy fountain at the mall and lost my family. I waited at the car – that way they couldn’t leave without me. In my memory the fountain was smooth, round and also made of terrazzo. The Pointe-Claire mall was renovated in the 1990s and the terrazzo floors were removed. The trips to New Hampshire and therefore the visits to the mall stopped following the passing of my grandmother.
I find myself having an irrational love for all buildings with terrazzo floors. On my first, and only, trip to Italy our room at Hotel Centauro had terrazzo floors – walking in felt like coming home.