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Project Type:

National City Library


Project Information : 1243 National City Blvd. National City, CA

Client : Carrier Johnson

Awards : 2005 winner of AGC Build San Diego, Design-Build award


When Carrier Johnson set out to find a flooring finish to complement their design for this new library, their original choice was terrazzo. Terrazzo turned out to be too expensive for the budget. Their criterion for the project was to find a finish with “durability in a civic presence.”

Durability was the main concern. The library is designed to last 50 years or more. T.B. Penick suggested HD Lithocrete® as a cost alternative to terrazzo. The designers were ecstatic. Their alternative had turned out to be even better suited for their project than terrazzo. HD Lithocrete® was “a look that went along with the concept of the building.” They also found it was advantageous to be able to customize the materials they used.


With decorative Lithocrete® bands on the exterior flatwork of the building, and HD Lithocrete® on the inside, the architects were able to take the same flooring they used on the exterior and continue their design within the interior of the library. The designers chose a mixture of Indonesian green rock, tumbled beach glass, pyrite, and abalone shells. The cementitious nature of the material also allowed for the use of T.B. Penick’s Reactive Coloration System to create decorative bands on the interior pattern without having to create separate pours. The result is a monolithic, structurally sound and durable surface that should serve its purpose well.