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Akron-Canton Airport atrium features Tree of Life terrazzo design

Airports are transportation hubs, and some airports are also inspiration hubs. Art and its power to inspire are top priorities at the Akron Canton Airport in North Canton, Ohio where the recently renovated atrium houses an art gallery, and a new terrazzo floor design entitled The Tree of Life.

Akron-Canton Airport Tree of Life terrazzo floor
“The artwork breathes new life to the space while creating a calming flow as guests move throughout the terminal.”

Telling stories with terrazzo

The Tree of Life was designed by local artist, Lenny Spengler. He created a centerpiece visual featuring a stylized tree with 46 leaves, each honoring a person, place, or event important to the heritage of the community. Collectively, the leaves tell a story of the people and forces who have positively impacted the community through their leadership, social responsibility, and mentorship. The quantity of leaves nods to the opening of the airport in 1946.

View the 46 honorees who have made important contributions to the Akron-Canton community on the airport’s website.

FrameTek makes intricate designs possible

Akron Canton Airport terrazzo floor features names of notable local people creating using FrameTek products from Creative Edge.
Creative Edge collaborated with Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo to fabricate FrameTek "leaves' honoring notable locals.

Creative Edge partnered with the terrazzo artist and terrazzo installer Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo to translate the design from artist’s drawing to a striking terrazzo floor. Our FrameTek product is responsible for the precision-cut metal leaf forms and lettering that are central to the design. FrameTek takes solid metal and cuts it using computer-aided design (CAD) and waterjet technology to within .002” tolerance of the artist’s design, to produce a metal frame that holds terrazzo aggregate. The 46 leaves and lettering were cut at the Creative Edge plant in Fairfield, Iowa and shipped directly to the jobsite for professional installation by the Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo team.

Josh Cohol, President of Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo, shared that using FrameTek allowed his team to deliver the artist’s vision precisely and contributed to their ability to renovate the atrium, which is in a very high traffic area, while the airport was open to the public. Cohol had this to say about working with the Creative Edge team, “Creative Edge engineers are true professionals. They quickly and efficiently gave us exactly what we needed to deliver the detail the design team expected. Their quality is impeccable and their process is seamless. We placed the order, they figured out the details, shipped, and delivered according to plan.”

StencilTek makes large scale possible

The project also used StencilTek, another Creative Edge product that makes terrazzo installation more efficient. StencilTek is a set of custom cut sheets that allow the transfer of a full-scale version of the design onto the sub-floor before FrameTek designs and metal strips are laid, and terrazzo aggregate is poured. With StencilTek, the full Tree of Life design and adjacent flooring was applied to the floor for approval by airport authorities and architects before costly materials were applied.

“Everyone on the project team was confident at each step of the process. StencilTek makes implementing the design details transparent and understandable.” – Josh Cohol, President - Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo

A beautiful collaboration and a beautiful new atrium

The Akron Canton Airport was a high-stakes public project with no room for imperfections. By using FrameTek and StencilTek products, our design and installation partners produced a high-quality, inspirational design that will continue to inspire travelers for decades to come.


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