Desco Coatings, Inc. was recognized by The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association with a 2023 Honor Award for their contributions to the Johnson County Courthouse project.

In the heart of downtown Olathe, Kansas, a tribute to architectural excellence and timeless craftsmanship stands tall — the Johnson County Courthouse. As a beacon of tradition and modernity, this LEED-certified marvel represents the culmination of meticulous planning, innovative design and collaborative execution.

At the helm of this ambitious project was the visionary mind of Jeff Lane from Treanor Architects and the skilled hands of JE Dunn Construction Company. Together, over a 24-month period, they brought their vision to life in the construction of the courthouse.

Fusing Artisan Technique with Functionality

Central to the courthouse’s aesthetic grandeur is the striking monochromatic terrazzo flooring that stretches as far as the eye can see. This design choice, a collaborative decision between the owner and architect, posed unique challenges during implementation. With windows cascading light throughout the space, Desco Coatings, Inc. (Desco), the entrusted terrazzo contractor, meticulously addressed imperfections and waves in the concrete, ensuring a flawless finish.

The terrazzo fuses elegance and durability and spans approximately 20,000 square feet, serving as the foundation upon which the courthouse’s legacy is built. Comprising 3/8″ epoxy terrazzo with zinc divider strips supplied by Manhattan America, the flooring exudes sophistication and resilience.

But the artfully skilled work extends beyond the floors and can also be seen in the poured-in-place cove bases, precast stairs and landings, and hand-troweled benches and walls. Desco carefully constructed each element to elevate the courthouse’s interior ambiance to unparalleled heights.

From Desco’s perspective, this project highlights the value of handwork and attention to detail. Every intricate design element showcases artisanal dedication, with a result that transcends mere functionality.

For the architect and designer, simplicity was paramount. The desire for a clean, uncluttered aesthetic was seamlessly integrated with the need to fill the courthouse with an aura of reverence and importance. The result — a space that resonates with dignity and purpose, welcoming visitors with open arms and leaving a lasting impression.

Crafting a Legacy

The owner was careful in considering all project costs, as funding was sourced solely from a quarter-cent Safety Sales Tax and fiscal responsibility was key in construction. The courthouse is an investment in the community — the fourth courthouse in the 167-year history of Johnson County, destined to serve for generations to come.

As the doors of the Johnson County Courthouse swing open, they unveil more than just a building — they reveal a timeless monument to collaboration, craftsmanship and community. A testament to the enduring workers who dream, design and build for a better tomorrow.

Desco was honored to accept the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association’s Honor Award, which annually recognizes outstanding terrazzo projects installed by its members, showcasing work that not only inspires, but also demonstrates some of the impressive feats that are possible with terrazzo.