The Airstream travel trailer was first introduced in the 1920’s. Created by Wally Byam, a lawyer who originally constructed the trailers from Masonite in his backyard, this sleek and functional mobile home sold across America and was the sole surviving trailer brand after the Great Depression. To this day, the exterior design has changed minimally, and ninety-year-old Airstreams are often refurbished to their original glory. This product became a classic because of its durability, functionality, and unique design. Classic products stand the test of time – they perform their intended purpose and are beloved by consumers because of their reliability and ageless design.
Like the Airstream, terrazzo is a classic, durable product that never goes out of style. More terrazzo floors are are being patched and restored to their original sheen than ever before
due to their endurance and universal appeal. While terrazzo might not be the cheapest flooring system on the market, there are few other systems that can boast the longevity and cost return of terrazzo. There is no linoleum, carpet, or resin system available that will last into the next century and still be considered in vogue. Terrazzo is not only physically durable, but aesthetically durable. With an infinite amount of color and aggregate options, it is relatively easy to create a classic design that will be both practical and functional for decades.
The classic look of terrazzo is not relegated to floors. Benches, tables, chairs, countertops, and sinks, are just a few items that can be manufactured from terrazzo. Small aggregate terrazzo is also not your only option. Ancient Palladiana
and Venetian terrazzo have made a comeback in recent years, a look that creates a dramatic contrast between large aggregates and the surrounding matrix. Aggregates created from recycled glasses and plastics are possible as well. The table seen below, by industrial designer Brodie Neill, was fabricated entirely from recycled ocean plastic.
Terrazzo remains the most practical flooring choice for high traffic areas, but has also surpassed this original use into one of the most inventive products on the market. This hardy floor is a testament to ancient engineering practices handed down for centuries, while also providing a modern pathway to unique designs and new uses for recycled materials. Like the Airstream, terrazzo will always remain a classic choice that stands the test of time. But as the design world moves forward, so will terrazzo, and the possibilities are endless.