LA Convention Center

TLos Angeles Convention Center
The Los Angeles Convention
and Exhibition Center Authority
Gruen Associates, Los Angeles
Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, New York
Alexis Smith, Venice, CA
General Contractor:
The George Hyman Construction Company / M.A. Mortenson Company (A joint venture)
Terrazzo Contractor:
Roman Mosiac and Tile Company, Philadelphia

To say that the Los Angeles Convention Center expansion project was a large undertaking was a large undertaking is an understatement. Review of the requirements of the terrazzo contractor (below) reveals the massive scope of this project.

  • 140,000 square feet – 3/8” epoxy terrazzo
  • 10,600 linear feet – 8” high cove base
  • 5,600 linear feet – precast tread and risers
  • 1,500 linear feet – poured terrazzo walls
  • two – complete terrazzo bars
  • two – terrazzo security desks
  • 21 – 58” diameter art medallions
  • 65,000 linear feet – zinc divider strip
Much was at stake on this $287 million dollar project as innovative and imaginative design concepts had to be translated into the permanent structure that would become a focal point of civic pride and activity. Roman Mosaic and Tile Company was a critical part of the job site performance equation as they faced logistic and artistic challenges on the project.

In 1988, Alexis Smith’s artistic concepts were chosen from selected artists’ proposals. Her idea for the South Exhibit Hall Lobby included an integral terrazzo portrayal of the Pacific Basin as seen from a point of view in space including 21 cultural medallions. In the West Lobby, Smith envisioned a 17,000 square-foot interpretation of the Milky Way and other heavenly elements of outer space placed in the terrazzo floor.

Because of its location, the entire project design incorporated the latest quake damage control technology. In addition, concern over potential damage to the permanent art work incorporated into the epoxy floors, prompted the owner, designer, general contractor and terrazzo contractor to explore additional crack isolation technology.

General Polymers 3552 EPO-FLEX Flexible Epoxy was selected to provide added protection against reflective cracking underneath the terrazzo map of the Pacific Basin. The 3552 system was chosen because of the numerous advantages it offered, including:

  • 3552 EPO-FLEX was designed to absorb lateral movement up to 1/16”
  • 3552 EPO-FLEX was a zero VOC material. No disruption of work would occur due to solvent or product odor.
  • 3552 EPO-FLEX required no primer, saving both time and money
  • 3552 EPO-FLEX was an epoxy material. Its bond strength exceeds the tensile strength of the concrete substrate, therefore, concrete failure would result before the epoxy would disbond from the substrate. What’s more, the 3552 was highly compatible with the epoxy terrazzo overlay.
  • Reinforcing scrim could be added to create a point of maximum tensile strength beneath the terrazzo.
  • EPO-FLEX does not lose flexibility over time.
Certain ‘critical’ areas were selected to receive the EPO-FLEX Flexible Epoxy, including a suspended slab which had significant stress and shrinkage cracking mirroring the rebar placement. A 40 mil coat was applied with a v-notched squeegee, and allowed to self-level. Next, a fiberglass scrim was embedded on top of the epoxy and allowed to cure. Terrazzo installation proceeded as usual directly over the reinforced epoxy.

Working very closely with the artist, Roman’s crews installed the floors utilizing General Polymers’ #1100 thin-Set Epoxy Terrazzo. According to John Trevisan, President of Roman Mosaic, “This job encompasses just about everything you can do with epoxy terrazzo. Over twenty different marbles, glass, and mother of pearl aggregates were used in the seven unique colors.” The total terrazzo job took eighty-nine weeks to complete and the grand opening events took place in November of 1993.

The additional investment in the durability and stability of the structure, including the installation of the EPO-FLEX System, proved later to be a wise decision. On January 17, 1994, a major earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck the Greater Los Angeles area. It resulted in a major collapse of the nearby Santa Monica Freeway. We're pleased to report however, that none of the area protected with EPO-FLEX cracked.

When protecting your investment is important, rely on general Polymers EPO-FLEX.

General Polymers stands ready to assist you on your resinous floor and wall systems. For more information call 1-800-624-5041 west of the Rockies, and 800-543-7694 east of the Rockies.