Making Saigon Terrazzo Shine Again

The value of traditional materials in modern designs.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, it was easy to find different types of colourful stone staircases in houses. Terrazzo is the result of a blending and polishing technique done manually. Having survived over the years, this product continues to appear in modern design.

Terrazzo tiles are poured into place or prefabricated in moulds, and are often used for floors, stairs, or decorative walls. Common types of terrazzo materials are marble, quartz, granite, glass or other stone debris, that are poured with a cement mix. After casting, terrazzo will be watered, ground and polished. There are two types of terrazzo, monochrome and multicolour. The monochrome is a single colour such as gray, red, yellow, and green. The multicoloured type contains various tones in different parts of the stone surface and is more expensive. Terrazzo has many diverse patterns. The most popular ones are fan-shaped, god’s eyes, and deer’s eyes. You can also opt for a smooth surface with no pattern, to achieve a modern look.

Terrazzo is highly durable. Sometimes, you will encounter it in small alleys, or old apartment buildings. Even though the colour has faded, it is powerfully attractive. In the blazing sunshine of Saigon, the luster of each small stone glows. Sadly, this art is gradually being replaced by granite or artificial stones, because of their convenience and reasonable price. Grinding stone artisans have gradually been forgotten. In my design ideas, I always want to retain valuable, traditional art forms. The most difficult thing is how to combine them with modern design trends, convince customers of the value of this seemingly old-fashioned material.

In a recent townhouse project, I used terrazzo in combination with the minimalist trend where the focus is on the construction materials and architectural shapes, rather than furniture and decorations. The most challenging part was to find artisans who grind stones. Most of them are old and extremely hard-working. They are meticulous and diligent, focusing on each surface, edge, thickness and evenness of the stone so that they produce the most complete product.

Project:  Bold Contrast Minimalist  (Lake View City, District 2, East Saigon )
Designed by KW Creative Co.
Main design concept:
Bringing traditional craftsmanship and materials into modern minimalist design.
Focus point:
Transparent illusion effect achieved by custom cable stair rails allows natural light to flow through. Handmade terrazzo stairs finished by experienced local artisans. Sliding glass partition provides both a private and open atmosphere when needed, maximizing the living space.

By: Wistley Nguyen

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt

Discover

Bài Liên Quan

Life Of A Wild Horse

I was born in the summer of 1990, year of the Horse. My Vietnamese blood carries the Earth element of the...

Creating a Hotel-style Living space

Interior design in Vietnam is still quite a new concept. Most people believe an interior designer is simply a person who...

Pantone Classic Blue 2020, the Colour of Calmness, Confidence and Connection

This December, Pantone - a famous paint company based in New York, announced that the colour of 2020 is Classic Blue....

Buying a House in Canada or Buying a House in Vietnam?

If you were born in an Asian country, you probably are familiar with the phrase "buy a house and build a...

Efficient and Sustainable Fashion: Now or Never!

When it comes to pollution, we usually think of heavy or chemical industries, such as steel manufacturing or oil refining. On...

Canada recommends masks, says emergency loans have no cap but many limits

OTTAWA (Reuters) - There will be no cap on the size of Canada's emergency loans to large companies harmed by the coronavirus...

Loonie slips as investors struggle to calibrate economic downturn

Reported By: Fergal Smith, Reuters TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against the greenback on Tuesday but stuck...

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt