Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

PANDOMO® TerrazzoBasic: Floors with character in the Museum Folkwang.

Just in time for the Ruhr region’s year as cultural capital in 2010, the city of Essen was graced with a new showpiece: the extension to the Museum Folkwang. Star architect David Chipperfield made it one of the architectural sensations of the year. The imposing new extension impressively integrates the original listed building into the overall ensemble and perpetuates its principles with inner courtyards, gardens and covered walkways. Clear lines and a generous, functional structure dominate the interior. The hallmark here is the surprising lightness created by bright, open spaces and transparency, with rooms that flow into one another all on one level. The Museum Folkwang envelops visitors in an atmosphere of pure, minimalist elegance that does perfect justice to the artworks on display here. This clear architectural idiom is beautifully reflected in the virtually seamless and very striking floor that underscores the features of the space and the design. A signature surface that defines the entire expanse, this innovative ground designer cement floor was custom developed in collaboration with the designers.

Innovative terrazzo floor featuring local flair.

Floor surfaces are a key element in any complex architectural plan. At the Museum Folkwang, the virtually seamless floors up to 100 metres in length underscore the clear, expansive architectural language. Their aesthetic is visually unique. The architects responsible at Plan Forward/Wolff Group sought the perfect fit for the rooms in a floor that would express its own personality. After intense consultations with the building chemicals specialists at ARDEX, the result was PANDOMO® TerrazzoBasic, a terrazzo floor with a revolutionary, individual look. Its standout feature: Rather than adding chips of a standard size and colour as with traditional terrazzo, PANDOMO® TerrazzoBasic incorporates authentic, locally-sourced mineral chips. Because their appearance can vary widely, they result in surfaces with vibrant structures and a regional signature that make them utterly unique. Their character is much more individualistic than traditional terrazzo but also projects a cleaner feel – the perfect stage for artwork.

Aesthetic and affordable.

The new PANDOMO® TerrazzoBasic floor system was fine-tuned to meet the architects’ needs. The plans called for material that would fulfil the exacting design requirements while enabling quick installation. It also had to be extremely resistant to wear and tear and affordable for the large area. The new floor system covers about 6,500 square metres of floor space in the Museum Folkwang. It was tinted grey and gravel from the Rhine was added as the regional aggregate.

This flooring creates a uniquely characteristic look in the exhibition areas without being too dominant. It proved a huge bonus in terms of time and cost savings as it was fast and easy to process with machines. In the museum in Essen, it was applied in predetermined block areas of around 100 square metres each, and then finely ground several times. Just four days later, the surface was ready for its ultimate sealing and polishing. All in all, this new material delivered excellent results across the board in the new Museum Folkwang – a work of art in its own right in terms of aesthetics, workability and cost.