Education with a Strong Foundation- The Berklee Museum

November 21, 2021

Berklee Abu Dhabi in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism is the single largest scholarship program in Berklee’s history. With this program students from the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region are given opportunities to attend Berklee College of Music; Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain; Berklee Online and so on. Berklee Abu Dhabi offers world-class educational experiences led by world-renowned artists and instructors and also hosts live performances from students, alumni and global artists. Their new location on Saadiyat Island has a performance space, a recording studio, rehearsal studios, practice rooms, ensemble rooms, and a multimedia tech lab.

Foster + Partners designed an iconic piece in the shape of sand dunes that aim to represent the country’s deserts. On one side, the outer facade of the pavilion is totally smooth and made in gold-coloured stainless steel. On the other side, the building is almost vertical and lets the light enter as it is made of glass. With a capacity of 450 people enclosing 3,000 m2 of space, this landmark was actually built to house the UAE pavilion for the 2010 World Exhibition in Shanghai. However, once the 6-month exhibition was over, the pavilion was dismantled and rebuilt on Saadiyat Island facing the facade of Manarat Al Saadiyat.

What was Mapei’s Role?

Re-building the roof façade required the fixing of 50,000 porcelain tiles on a thin prefabricated steel frame which made mechanical fixing impossible. This was a challenging installation as the structure would be subject to very high temperature variations from day to night and also the tiles were not to be installed flat with only a very small area of each tile linked to the next.

Installation of the tiles on the roof required a solution which could withstand a high surface temperature of up to +100°C and be applied on horizontal and vertical substrates so we proposed the use of a thixotropic reactive adhesive KERALASTIC T – a 2 component high performance polyurethane adhesive which complies with EN 12004 R2T.

We were able to initiate small changes to the substrate with the consultant which increased the steel frame surface area by 30% without significantly changing the loading. MAPEI created a method specifically for this installation to ensure error-free execution and also provided detailed onsite training for the applicators.

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