Medrese River Station (Muslim Seminary) - Bolgar (Russia)

In the ancient capital of the Tatars

At the heart of the new Bolgar river station, a UNESCO Heritage site since 2014, lies a waterjet cut ceramic carpet
Roberta Chionne
Mikhail Shevelyow
Airat Sibaev - Tatinvestgrazhdanproject NPF

The new river station at the historical and archaeological site of Bolgar was built in 2014, the year the complex was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The site holds the remains of a mediaeval city whose origins date back to a settlement of the nomadic Volga-Bolgars civilisation, which flourished between the 7th and 15th centuries AD. Converted to Islam in 992, Bolgar is also an important religious site for Muslim Tatars as well as the ancient capital of one of the most powerful and civilised Eastern European states during the Middle Ages, the Khanate of Kazan, the predecessor of today’s Republic of Tatarstan.
Maintaining the original layout of the ancient city delimited by walls and moats, the site is an open-air museum that attracts tourists, pilgrims and Tatars in search of their roots. Since 2010, Bolgar has undergone extensive restoration and reconstruction work along with new projects such as the river station, which is intended to be much more than just a landing place for boats. As the access point to Bolgar for visitors arriving from the river, the building also hosts the museum of the Volga-Bolgar civilisation.
Designed by Russian practice Tatinvestgrazhdanproject Npf, the building offers a contemporary interpretation of the local construction and decorative tradition. Externally it is a solid, sober building in keeping with the austere nature of the historic city of Bolgar, evoking the site’s colours and materials through the use of surface coverings similar to the stones used for the construction of walls and buildings. The same sobriety appears in the interiors, particularly the traditionally inspired floors. The focal point of the project is the ceramic carpet installed in the central reception area, which serves as the hub around which the entire building is organised. For this area the designers decided to create a visually-striking traditional floor while using materials that would guarantee the levels of performance suited to the needs of a public space. Following extensive research, the designers opted for marble-look porcelain tiles from Casalgrande Padana for the flooring in this and other areas of the building. The central ceramic carpet was created using the waterjet technique to cut Granitogres tiles in two colours, the pale Cremo Supremo field tiles and the bright red Rosso Laguna accents. Square coloured slabs from the same collection but the colour Pennsylvania were used for the flooring in the museum display halls, where the main aim was to create an elegant but neutral space with a pleasant atmosphere but without detracting attention from the items on display. The Italian company was also chosen to supply the flooring in the upper-floor exit area towards the city, where square Marte series slabs in the colour Emperador were installed.

Casalgrande Padana, Marmogres, Marte
porcelain stoneware
60x60 cm
Marmogres (Cremo Supremo, Pennsylvania, Rosso Laguna, Verde India) Marte Emperador
Technische Eigenschaften
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50÷60 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Zertifizierungen und Auszeichnungen
ISO 14001
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