Joshua Boncosky is a representative for Concord Terrazzo Company, also known as Terrazzco. Josh, in collaboration with our amazing in-house Design team, managed every step of the process in producing the pink and blue terrazzo that lines the stairs, walls, counters and tables throughout Bond Collective Bushwick. Today we’re speaking with him about what went into the production process and about what makes Terrazzco such a unique manufacturer.
Words: Emmett Bragdon-Hess
Images: Amanda Kirkpatrick
Emmett: What got you into the terrazzo industry and how did you find Terrazzco?
Josh: My best friend growing up had family in the industry and hired me at his company, Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies in Illinois. What first drew me in was the unique artistic aspect of the terrazzo and how customizable it was. About 12 years later, Peter, the owner of Terrazzco, brought me into his shop and I was blown away by their manufacturing process and how it differed from others. They were the first company I’d seen who covered the entire process, from creating their own aggregates (small bits of material that add color and shape to terrazzo) to making their own precasts and even handling installation work.
E: Our terrazzo here at Bushwick is truly one of a kind. What makes up the colored pieces (aggregate) in our terrazzo?
J: The job at Bond Bushwick was like no other in terms of sourcing the aggregate. Bond’s design team wanted something completely unique and we went through dozens of samples and materials to find ones that fit. After lots of back and forth, we finally settled on some select products that we decided to outsource from around the globe. We found Cactus Canyon Quarries out of Marble Falls, TX to source the “Pink Rosado” and “Texas Blue” marble that appear as angular chunks. We then went all the way to Greece to source the “Snow White” marble for the small, truffle-shaped pieces in the terrazzo. Even the tread for the stairs was a custom “Smoke Grey'' quartz-coated granule, one that we don’t typically use.
E: Once the aggregates were chosen, what were the next steps in production?
J: Once we settled on these materials and colors (we even were considering green at one point), it was time to pour. Before pouring the epoxy over the aggregate, we made massive 10ft custom built molds for the terrazzo to set in. Each piece of aggregate was hand placed so it didn’t sink directly to the bottom and cause uneven distribution. We’d pour a bit of epoxy, place a few chunks of aggregate, pour some more epoxy, and then repeat until the mold was full. It took a lot of precision and calculated randomness to find the perfect dispersion of aggregate, a process that was difficult to replicate during future orders. Once everything was hardened and cured, we used a massive diamond tip blade to cut the terrazzo block into slabs for walls, countertops, etc. After that, it was polished smooth and finished with a coat of sealant. It’s a painstakingly long process that requires so much iteration, but it’s essential to producing the highest quality terrazzo. We’re really happy with the way it came out!
E: We are too! It’s such a defining aspect of our space and you can tell how much work went into every piece. Terrazzco also has done some other seriously complex projects for other companies, including NASA and The University of Alabama Athletics Department. What are some of the most complex jobs you’ve ever worked on?
J: Right now we’re working with Nvidia, a producer of graphics processing units, at their Santa Clara, CA headquarters on a massive spiral staircase that’s completely encapsulated in terrazzo. Each stair is completely unique in shape and size and has self supporting treads, which opens up a whole range of tricky engineering feats that we’re taking on.
We’ve also done a really cool project for Mango’s, a nightclub in Orlando, FL, that calls for photoluminescent aggregate that glows in the dark, to be dispersed throughout the terrazzo. It’s incredibly eye-popping and we’ve actually used similar material for stair treads in a children’s hospital that required it for safety purposes.
It’s always fun to work on projects like these because it really stretches my imagination and pushes me to think outside the box. Bond Bushwick was definitely one of those as well!
E: Who knew that a nightclub and a children’s hospital would prove to be such similar jobs for Terrazzco! As you described, given that these products are in areas where the highest level safety and sanitation must be upheld, can you speak a bit more about how Terrazzco ensures that their product is environmentally responsible and safe?
J: Absolutely. Terrazzco is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, which means we use the most sustainable possible epoxy; free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and we use the highest possible amount of recycled materials in our terrazzo. Additionally, all of our products are Greenguard Gold certified, which means they don’t emit any toxic chemicals into the air after production. For us, creating a safe product for our clients and our planet is an essential aspect of our business and we don’t see any other way. You can rest assured that all of the terrazzo that you and your members work around every day is held to the same safety standards as what’s used in the hospitals that we’ve provided for.
E: So great to hear. We’re so fortunate to have worked with you and the team at Terrazzco and couldn’t be happier with how it’s added such a unique touch to Bond Collective Bushwick. Thanks so much for sharing all of these interesting details about the production process and we’re looking forward to working with you on future projects!