The Uffizi Gallery

Architectural and structural renovation project to upgrade operational capability with the construction of mechanical, electrical and special systems in the monumental complex at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Map of Italy

Italy
Florence, Tuscany
Contractor
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism *
Project Date
2006 - ongoing

Issues and stakes

The New Uffizi construction site was intended to be a reversible preservation project that was compatible with the original construction materials, techniques and systems which typified the monument.

From the beginning, the construction site (which opened in 2006) for the New Uffizi was intended to be a reversible preservation project that was compatible with the original construction materials, techniques and systems which typified the monument. This led to the need to use plasters and hydraulic lime mortars such as those made by Saint-Gobain Weber, since they not only respect tradition, but also do not attack the faces of the original walls.

 

Achievements

Some existing wall elements (vaults and partitions) that appeared to be damaged were recovered with the “injection” repair method. This technique consists of drilling several holes (generally, 40-50 cm apart) around the damaged area to create seats for the placement of nozzles used to inject pourable mortar. The preparatory phase ends when the nozzles are sealed into the wall substrate. Next, water is injected as a preliminary step, in order to wash the filtering sections and saturate the entire mass of wall. The repair is completed with the injection, at low pressure, of weber.calce iniezione special liquid mortar until the masonry will no longer accept any more. With this repair, the original structural continuity of the crackled element is restored, and the element itself is strengthened.

 

contractor* : Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – Office for Architectural, Landscape, Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Assets for the Provinces of Florence, Pistoia and Prato.

The reason behind the increased strength is that weber.calce iniezione fluid mortar, which has good mechanical strength, saturates the empty areas in the matrix of the wall. Another technique used for repairing isolated damage is the scuci e cuci patching method. This approach starts with the removal of old plaster to expose the masonry surrounding the damaged area. Next, the sections of the masonry that are affected by the damage are removed together with several adjacent elements to form a hollow that is large enough to receive new wall components.  After the hollow is cleaned and washed, the masonry is reconstructed with new elements (new brickwork, or healthy existing elements that have been recovered) that are walled with new weber.calce MP2,5 masonry mortar containing hydraulic lime, and special care is taken to tooth onto the existing sections effectively.
After the masonry mortar has been cured, the plaster is restored by “patch” plastering of the areas of missing plaster.