Ohio State University

Schottenstein Arena - Art in Public Places

The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio wanted its new arena to represent the history, tradition and strength of the University. E. Gordon Gee, President of the University, spoke at the ground breaking ceremony and expressed the "premier collegiate arena" to "symbolize Ohio State's commitment to our students, alumni, and friends, to our community, and to our future." About two years later, the Schottenstein Arena was officially introduced to the students, faculty, alumni and the public during opening ceremonies in November, 1998. This building captures the pride of the school's rich tradition in athletics and its role in providing a well rounded education.

During the design phase of this facility, the architects, Moody/Nolan Ltd., Inc. of Columbus, Ohio and Sink Combs Dethlefs of Denver, wanted to insure the facility represented the university's commitment to quality. Therefore, Thin-Set Epoxy Terrazzo was the natural selection as the finish in the concourses and entry atria. As so often times happens, budget considerations came into play late in the design phase, and tile was substituted for the terrazzo. The General Polymers flooring representative, suggested the use of Art-in-Public-Places funding to help support the use of terrazzo.

Frequently on large public facilities, local, state and/or federal funding is available as a percentage of the entire project to support the display of art in these facilities. Although these funds are frequently used for sculptures and paintings, the unique design flexibility of thin-set epoxy terrazzo has allowed it to qualify.

Alexis Smith, the design artist for the terrazzo world map at Los Angeles Convention Center, was contracted to assist on this project. After much consideration, it was decided that the final design was to be representations of outstanding OSU athletic teams and personalities throughout the university's history. They represent a Championship men's baseball team and a Championship women's basketball team from the early 1900's, John Havlicek, Fred Taylor, Averill Roberts and a composite hockey player. As added insurance to protect the life-long aesthetics of the terrazzo, EPO-FLEX®, a flexible crack bridging membrane, was installed under all of the terrazzo to protect against cracking due to substrate movement.

The installation of the floor was a joint venture between Ardit Company of Columbus, Ohio and Roman Mosaic of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Due to the complexity of design and the detailed shades of gray outlining the "photographic" images, the strip design was extremely intricate. Original estimates for installation time for the strips were unacceptable, and Chuck Meushaw, lead foreman for Roman Mosaic, suggested the use of ribbon strip. This allowed the job to be completed in an acceptable time frame, and the finished product exceeded the artist's, the university's, and the architect's expectations.