A Conversation with Terrazzo Artist Kelly Noto
A whimsical 6,000 square foot floor is the centerpiece of a major airport renovation. Creative Edge talked with Designer/Artist Kelly Noto of Kelly Taaffe Design about her firm’s approach to the new terrazzo installation at the Tallahassee International Airport. The design is inspired by the beachfront landscape of the region and utilizes hand-blended epoxy that incorporates mother of pearl and mirror fragments from our partners at Terrazzo Marble and Supply Company to create the experience of walking on the beach with water underfoot. The major airport renovation also includes state-of-the-art baggage handling systems, new ticket counters, and art installations that feature the work of local artists.
What was your design intent for this project?
KN | "When we interviewed airport leadership and project decision makers, they asked for a design that would educate travelers about the geography of Tallahassee and its proximity to the coast and beaches of Florida. My design is a true-to-scale antique topographical map on a billowing scroll that includes every river, island, town, village, and city - with legible labels that achieve the education goal. The design even includes longitude and latitude lines in brass that add perspective as well as the vintage, nautical feel we intended.
The Gulf of Mexico was portrayed with graduated colors corresponding to ocean depth using a new group of terrazzo formulas I created with the team at Terrazzo and Marble Supply Company which include clear resin that reflect light to mimic the fluid nature of water. The client and airport visitors agree that the effect is stunning and completely unique. We succeeded in creating a much-valued signature experience that will educate and welcome airport guests for decades."
How did your partnership with Creative Edge influence your design?
KN | "It gave us true freedom. There was literally no limit to the detail we could incorporate into our designs. Their
process and equipment made beautiful finish, detail, and quality possible. It also lightened my burden by taking a great deal of pressure off the review and approval of shop drawings because we knew the end-product would reflect the original design."
What was your experience of working with the Creative Edge team?
KN | "When I first visited their facility, I was fascinated by their process and impressed by their investment in the most updated equipment. Seeing their operation made me feel comfortable entrusting my rather elaborate design to their team. Once the work began, their CAD techs were invaluable in spotting details of the design that, in full scale, could be problematic. They worked with us to troubleshoot all concerns and the outcome is fabulous."
How did TerrazzoTek products impact the project timeline and the outcome of the finished floor?
KN | "By specifying StencilTek we could adhere to the integrity of the design and improve installation efficiency - which is always critical in the 24/7 environment of an airport. FrameTek made it possible to incorporate lettering and intricate detail that was so important to delivering a design that delights our client and educates airport guests."
Creative Edge thanks Kelly Taaffe Design, Inc. for contributing to this article.
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