Projects

Palazzo Strozzi - Florence

A non-invasive renovation project

The Strozzina, the underground gallery in Palazzo Strozzi devoted to contemporary art exhibitions, has been repaved with large-format tiles installed over the existing floor
Author
Riccardo Bianchi
Surfaces
REX
Year of completion
2011

Palazzo Strozzi, one of the most magnificent Renaissance palaces in Florence or indeed anywhere in Italy, is a masterpiece of civil architecture and a landmark in the history of the city of the lily. Construction began in the fifteenth century under commission from Filippo Strozzi, a wealthy merchant belonging to a family traditionally hostile to the Medici faction who wanted to celebrate the glories of his ancestry with a majestic building. A total of fifteen existing buildings had to be demolished to make room for this new structure. The wooden model of the building was made in around 1490 by Giuliano da Sangallo, but according to Vasari the original project was attributable to Benedetto da Maiano. In any case, the building was completed after many vicissitudes in 1538.
It is a unique monument, a highlight of Italian artistic and cultural history. And yet this famous building still has some surprises in store. One of these is the exhibition space set up in the old cellars below the large courtyard. From 1945 onwards this splendid catacomb hosted some of Florence’s most important exhibitions, but in 1966 it was badly damaged in the Arno flood. It took more than forty years for the space to be restored and returned to its original function as an art gallery under the name of Strozzina Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCS). The “Strozzina”, as this underground complex is known as in Florence, now consists of eleven rooms with a total floor space of 850 square metres. Further renovation of the space, especially the floor, was carried out recently under the supervision of Franziska Nori, Project Director of CCCS, part of the Florence-based Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. The chosen solution was Easy Flooring, a dry self-fixing modular floor system for interiors developed by Florim Solutions. This choice was explained in the project report as follows: “It is a renovation system that involves installing a new ceramic floor covering directly over the existing floor without the need to lay a screed or use adhesives or grouts. The tiles are simply placed side by side and can be positioned and removed without the need for building or demolition work or for specialist labour. This is possible thanks to Easy Flooring’s unique composition, which consists of a 2 mm thick layer of high-density recycled rubber and cork applied to a porcelain tile. This system is ideal for historic buildings where it is not possible to take out the existing floors. In this specific project, porcelain tiles from the Unique collection by Florim’s brand Rex were chosen in the neutral, luminous colour Argent to focus attention on the exhibits and create a sensation of spatial continuity from one room to another. Judging from the success of the exhibitions that have been held in the centre, it has proved an excellent decision.

Tiles
Rex, Unique series
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
80x80 cm
Colours
Argent, matte finish
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA ULA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <150 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >45N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R 9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
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