From Realtà Mapei International n° 88 - 12/21/2021

Coffee and orange peel powders for a sensorial experience

A new challenge for Mapei Research & Development: use natural substances to make the coatings of the Italy Pavilion.


Location icon Dubai

Amongst the many partners that contributed and worked on the Italy Pavilion project, Mapei was contacted and asked to help turn an architectonic idea into reality: to use innovative forms and materials that could combine functional performance properties with eco-sustainability and aesthetic requirements. Mapei accepted the challenge, studying, designing, testing and, finally, proposing solutions that would provide both the required performance characteristics and a marked, natural and materic effect finish in particular.

The idea behind the project to use, or rather re-use, natural substances such as coffee grounds, orange peel and sand from the nearby desert, became a reality in the Mapei Research & Development laboratories by creating coatings that combine technical efficiency with design and sustainability. And what is more, the walkway in the Italy Pavilion has been designed with a coating made from powdered orange peel and spent coffee grounds to give visitors a truly special sensorial experience. Thanks to these completely natural elements, in combination with a specially selected colour and particle size of ceramic quartz mixed with MAPECOAT UNIVERSAL, a non-yellowing epoxy resin, a unique and eco-sustainable coating was created with a distinctive texture.

The same type of binder, combined with sand from the local desert, was used to create the entire area, which now projects an image of sand dunes from the local desert.

These coatings were chosen not only for the floors, but also for the walls of the structure up to quite a considerable height, which made it even more difficult to develop and choose the most suitable product system and the best way of applying it.


The substrates were also primed with extreme care using Mapei products and with types of material compatible with the construction materials.

PRIMER GRIP WHITE, a water-based synthetic resin used to promote adhesion, was specifically selected for its colour in order to obtain the right base layer and enhance the dynamic shading effects of the powdered orange peel and coffee grounds. It was also necessary to apply a coat of PRIMER LT, a one-component acrylic primer, to guarantee perfect adhesion of the system to the concrete substrates, and of MAPETHERM AR1 mortar before skimming the ESP panels. The final step was to protect the surfaces with MAPEFLOOR FINISH 630, a water-based transparent acrylic formulate used to increase the resistance of surfaces to wear.




Mapei also supplied products for cementitious and resin floorings created in many of the other areas of the Italy Pavilion.

The trowel-applied cementitious system ULTRATOP LOFT, with its special textured materic finish, proved to be the optimum solution to give a sense of continuity to the natural aesthetic effect, the pivotal concept of the entire project. Thanks to the use of ULTRATOP LOFT F (in its natural base colour pigmented with ULTRATOP EASYCOLOR in its Manhattan CO shade), along with PRIMER LT and a protective top-coat of MAPEFLOOR FINISH 630, cementitious coatings were created in many areas with steps or corridors and in other areas used for dining or for office space.

In the plant and service areas and in the kitchen, the designers opted for solutions more suited to their final use. The flooring, made from the MAPEFLOOR SYSTEM 32 multi-layered epoxy system, guarantees sufficient mechanical resistance to particularly demanding processes and excellent resistance to chemical substances in areas where food and drinks are prepared and served.

Also, thanks to its non-slip finish, this product ensures that work environments are much safer.

Project information

Yard Expo pavilions, infrastructures and other places
Location Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Application Supply of products for new construction and renovations
Start and finish date 2020
Application Type New building
Realtà Mapei Tags: #floors

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