Guggenheim Restoration Uses MAPEI Products

April 1, 2008
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MAPEI, a leading producer of concrete restoration products, was selected to supply materials used in the restoration of the exterior of the world-renowned Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Since the famous spiral building opened in 1959, the exterior has been beset by cracks, affecting its aesthetic qualities and risking corrosion within its steel reinforcements. In 2004, the Guggenheim initiated a four-year restoration process, which included extensive monitoring and product testing.

After removing 12 layers of coatings that had been applied over the years, two firms retained by the Guggenheim - the architectural conservation firm Integrated Conservation Resources (ICR) and the structural engineering firm Robert Silman Associates, PC - mapped every crack in the exposed surface. After in-depth research and extensive testing, ICR recommended the use of MAPEI products for the exterior restoration. MAPEI had a single-source system that could provide all the materials needed for this phase of the restoration. When ICR principals visited MAPEI’s R&D laboratory, they learned that the company had the resources available to solve any problems the restoration encountered.

Norman Weiss, professor of Architectural Conservation at Columbia University and a member of the ICR team, summed up the Guggenheim’s final choice: “After the testing, we were ready to say we have a manufacturer of product, and - more importantly - a manufacturer we can work with. In other words, not just a company that’s going to sell us products and go home, but one that’s going to have people on site and be there to train contractors to handle the products properly, to examine any problems that might arise in the field and work on modifications.”

“Our ability to draw upon a global network of technological resources has allowed us to meet the challenge presented by the Guggenheim restoration,” said Rainer Blair, president and CEO of MAPEI Americas. “The museum will now join the ranks of many worldwide projects renovated with MAPEI products, including the Vatican, the Kremlin, the La Scala opera house and the Statue of Liberty. We are very proud that the Guggenheim chose MAPEI products to rejuvenate its treasured home in New York City.”

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, and to the collection, conservation, and study of the art of our time. The Foundation realizes this mission through exceptional exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives and publications, and strives to engage and educate an increasingly diverse international audience through its network of museums and cultural partnerships.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation currently owns and operates three museums: the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue, New York City; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy; and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas. The Foundation also provides programming and management for two other museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim, in Berlin.

The Guggenheim has extended its reach not only through its network of international locations and alliances, including with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, but also through its expanding permanent collection and increasingly diverse schedule of special exhibitions and programs. With nearly three million annual visitors worldwide, the Guggenheim and its network of museums is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the world.

About MAPEI

MAPEI has been supplying systems for tile and stone installation, floor-covering installation, decorative concrete and concrete restoration for 70 years. With more than 40,000 customers worldwide and 47 associated manufacturing plants operating in 24 countries, MAPEI is a single-source supplier of flooring installation systems for residential and commercial projects. MAPEI is a registered provider to the AIA/CES program and also offers training related to ceramic and stone tile, floor coverings and concrete repair through the MAPEI Technical Institute. MAPEI is an environmentally conscious manufacturer.

For more information, call (800) 42-MAPEI (800-426-2734) or visit www.mapei.com.

Sidebar: MAPEI Products Used in the Restoration

  • MapeferTM 1K corrosion inhibitor - for repairing multiple areas of corroded steel throughout the building’s exterior.
  • Planitop® XS extended-working-time vertical and overhead 1-component repair mortar - for repairing multiple patches throughout the building’s exterior.
  • MapelasticTM all-climate flexible cementitious membrane - for concrete waterproofing and protection of the building’s exterior.
  • Elastocolor Rasante high-build elastomeric color-matched finish coating - for resurfacing the exterior.


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