Museum Würth, Erstein, France

PANDOMO® Floor: The perfect setting for spectacular artwork.

The location could hardly be more unusual. In the middle of an industrial zone, surrounded by warehouses, office buildings and containers, this is the last place you’d expect to find a showcase for artwork. But right here, next to the Würth France headquarters in the Alsatian town of Erstein, Reinhold Würth opened his 13th art museum in early 2008. He chose this site specifically to reflect the strong bond at Würth between art and work that plays such a significant role in the company’s philosophy. Designed by French architects Jacques and Clément Vergély from Lyon, the museum sparkles like a gem in this unlikely setting. The newly-constructed, two-storey building with 3,500 m² of floor space is a rectangular structure made up of two blocks of exposed concrete, each 70 metres long, enclosing a glassed-in central room and an auditorium that seats 240. From the northern block, an exhibition room with ceilings nine metres high, a stairway leads to another room in the southern block with the same floor space but a ceiling height of just four metres.

Designer floors, seamlessly aesthetic.

The functionality of the layout is reflected in an unobtrusive, clear statement in the museum’s interior. Rough concrete and simple white plaster provide an intentional contrast to the artworks. The minimalist, exquisite quality of the room is underscored by the stone effect flooring. Seamless and joint-free, tinted in a light grey tone, the floors project spaciousness and a purist sophistication. The distinctive graining and shadowing lend the floor vitality and make it visually unique. The shimmer of its silky surface adds a final touch of subtle refinement. Two glass skylights in the flat roof provide understated, hazy natural light, giving the room its characteristic feel and creating a worthy stage for the works of art.

To make sure the floors would indeed express their vision, the architects and the client chose a product that met all their demands in terms of design, workmanship and durability in the museum: PANDOMO® Floor. The basis is a pure mineral design levelling compound with a cementitious base, PANDOMO® K1, which provides the perfect foundation for a wide variety of customised design and colour options. The natural feel of the expansive, designer mineral floor ultimately made it the perfect logical choice as a visual continuation of the exposed concrete.

Speed of installation was another crucial factor on this building site. Experts from Kessler in Schliengen, Germany, installed 1,600 square metres of flooring, finishing the job in just two weeks. After the substrate had been prepared, the white, self-levelling compound was expertly coloured and pumped in in layers five millimetres thick. It was then polished and oiled three times. The result: a perfectly uniform floor with no joints or edges whatsoever, which is highly durable as well as resistant to abrasion and water. All the surfaces share some intentional unevenness, shadowing and occasional trowel marks. These floors express character, vitality and individualism. Of course, it wasn’t only the look of the finished floor that convinced the architects, owners and installers of this innovative material’s quality; the design options it provides plus its economic installation also made it an extremely practical choice.