Client: Rowan University
Location: Glassboro, NJ, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $120,000
Braaksma Design Inc.
Kaspari Design Services
Roman Mosaic & Tile.
Roman Mosaic and Tile Company
Carolyn Braaksma and Brad Kaspari
Terrazzo, Aluminum, Aluminum plate; 3,572 s.f.
The overall design stands as a holistic tribute to multiple engineering disciplines that are part of the College of Engineering.
We were asked to design a floor for the lobby entrance to the School of Engineering at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. The School covers many different engineering disciplines and the site space was complex; so the design process required significant research, much back and forth with faculty and staff, and the juggling of many different design elements. The floor is an expression of the different disciplines of engineering: chemical, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, biological. As users pass through the main entrance of the building, they are immediately made aware that this building has a specific function in the educational experience. The work’s overall theme is the union of all engineering disciplines in basic concepts and the importance of engineering to daily life.
We pay close attention to building function components such as furniture placement and high traffic areas, and terrazzo is particularly appropriate for designing around and in coordination with building flow. Our experience with terrazzo has allowed us to design, fabricate, and install projects at a more rapid pace which is a great benefit for public art projects that oftentimes require condensed timelines.
The design of the floor also re-imagines the Rowan University Engineering banner. The “Fuller” Checkerboard references structural and civil engineering, re-drawn from Buckminster Fuller’s 1951 patent application. The alternating colors refer to the checkerboard pattern associated with the Rowan School Emblem. The sun on the Rowan banner becomes a gear at the center of the floor as well as the center of the periodic table near the hydrogen element. The owl is expressed by feathers that become vector arrows.