From Realtà Mapei International n° 75 - 7/22/2019

Matera: from history to new projects

Matera, the city chosen to represent European culture in 2019, has a timeless charisma, from its antique and noble past to scenes soaked in that special beauty of a simple life. A mix of unique charm that has led it to being included amongst the most prestigious (and unusual) UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In this article we have collected together the projects carried out by Mapei in Matera: museums and modern buildings where Mapei solutions were employed to install ceramic, seal joints, waterproof surfaces and create resin flooring, as well as to build a well-equipped sports club featuring the TNS Sports Line by Mapei.

A highly dedicated team of Mapei experts also worked on the restoration of historic paving in the old town centre, on seventeenth and eighteenth century Palazzos and ancient churches rising amongst the famous Matera Sassi, with a targeted consultancy service to bring advice and solutions on site for the restoration, consolidation, structural strengthening and final finishing operations of internal and external façades.

Tramontano Castle

Tramontano Castle is located on Lapillo Hill, overlooking the old town centre of Matera, and has been the subject of ongoing restoration work since 2008.

To create a new waterproofing layer MAPEFLEX BLACKFILL bitumen sealant has been used under the stone covering, MAPESLOPE mortar has been used to even out the screed, all the expansion joints have been waterproofed with MAPEBAND tape, MAPELASTIC TURBO mortar and MAPETEX SEL fabric, and the stone covering has been installed with KERAFLEX MAXI S1 adhesive.


Church of San Pietro Caveoso

The church can be found at the base of a cliff known as the Rupe dell’Idris, overlooking Sasso Caveoso and, together with Sasso Barisano, make up the area known as the “Sassi di Matera”. Over the centuries the church has been modified several times and, in the 17th century, it was completely refurbished.

In 1987 the Basilicata Region Heritage Authority launched a new series of works to consolidate and restore the structure. Products from the MAPEWRAP SYSTEM line were used for the work on the tuff-covered pillars, the ideal solution for the repair and static strengthening of structures in poor condition.


Museum-Workshop of Rural Culture

The Museum-workshop of Rural Culture in Matera was recently extended to twice its former size.

MAPE-ANTIQUE STRUTTURALE NHL mortar was used to consolidate large portions of the masonry and PLANITOP HDM RESTAURO pre-blended, fibre-reinforced, high-ductility hydraulic lime (NHL) and Eco-Pozzolan based mortar, combined with MAPEGRID G 220 mesh, was used for structural strengthening work. CONSOLIDANTE ETS was used to consolidate internal surfaces in all the interiors.



Street Paving - Via D’addozio

The aim the renovation work on the paving in the old town centre (see Realtà Mapei International no. 67) was to conserve its historic and artistic value by re-using the original materials to get a better colour match and a more regular layout.

The 7 cm thick flagstones were installed with cement mixed with PLANICRETE synthetic-rubber latex, while MAPESTONE PFS2 pre-blended mortar was used to grout the joints.


Communal Cinema and Theatre

The communal cinema and theatre inside Palazzo dell’Annunziata, which dates back to the eighteenth century, was renovated.

The floor inside the theatre on the first floor was coated with the ULTRATOP LOFT system. The substrate was first prepared with PRIMER SN, fully broadcast with QUARTZ 0.5 quartz sand and MAPENET 150 mesh was embedded into the primer.

A first coat of ULTRATOP LOFT F, coarse-textured cementitious paste tinted with UTRATOP EASYCOLOR colouring solution, was then applied. After its drying, the surfaces were sanded, dust was removed and PRIMER LT was applied followed by a coat of ULTRATOP LOFT W.

ULTRATOP BASE COAT was used to regularize the coat absorption, followed by MAPEFLOOR FINISH 58 W to finish off the surfaces.


Higher Academy of Restoration (Former Santa Lucia Convent)

The new base in Matera for the Higher Academy of the Institute of Conservation and Restoration was inaugurated in 2017 inside the former Santa Lucia Nova Convent.

The internal façade was restored with MAPE-ANTIQUE ALLETTAMENTO salt-resistant masonry mortar.

Resin flooring was installed inside the institute using the epoxy coating system MAPEFLOOR SYSTEM 35 F, which comprised the application of a mix made from natural aggregates and MAPEFLOOR I 350 SL epoxy binder pigmented on site with MAPECOLOR PASTE (Ral 1015) colouring paste.


Mulino Alvino Pasta Works

The home of the Mulino Alvino pasta works is a 19th century building.

Renovation works included waterproofing the roofs. After removing the roof coverings, the cuts in the previous bitumen membrane were sealed with MAPEFLEX BLACKFILL bitumen sealant. After building a screed with MAPESLOPE, the substrate was waterproofed with two layers of MAPELASTIC and MAPENET 150 mesh embedded between them. The main façades were treated with SILEXCOLOR PRIMER, mixed with red-coloured oxides.


Sporting Club Matera

Sporting Club Matera offers three tennis courts, two indoor and one outdoor, which were recently transformed by resurfacing them with resin (they were previously in synthetic grass) using systems from the MAPECOAT TNS range.

For this particular project the products used included MAPECOAT TNS PROFESSIONAL acrylic resin-based flooring system, which includes MAPECOAT TNS WHITE BASE COAT semi-flexible acrylic resin basecoat and a finishing coat of MAPECOAT TNS FINISH 3. The playing areas of the courts were marked out with MAPECOAT TNS LINE.


Palazzo Caropreso

In 2018 the tuff façades of Palazzo Caropreso, dating back to the nineteenth century, were completely restored.

The surfaces of the building, which were damaged by mould and mildew, were treated with SILANCOLOR CLEANER PLUS hygienising detergent and MAPE-ANTIQUE ALLETTAMENTO salt-resistant masonry was used to fill the larger gaps in the surfaces.

The surfaces were then finished off with coloured SILEXCOLOR BASE COAT silicate undercoat and silicate-based SILEXCOLOR PAINT.


Bell-Tower of Santa Maria della Bruna Cathedral

The bell-tower of this cathedral has undergone restoration and consolidation work.

Bands made from MAPEWRAP C UNI AX 600/40 carbon fibre fabric were applied on the structure; the pinnacle was strengthened with MAPE-ANTIQUE STRUTTURALE NHL reinforced with MAPENET EM 30 alkali-resistant glass fibre mesh; the ashlars for the exposed walls were pointed with MAPE-ANTIQUE ALLETTAMENTO combined with MAPEI STEEL DRY 316 and the surface of the façade was protected with ANTIPLUVIOL S water-repellent impregnating finish.

The cathedral itself had previously been involved in restoration works which made use of Mapei products for consolidating the wooden beams and truss, strengthening the dome over the presbitery, repairing masonry and installing marble floors (see Realtà Mapei International no. 67).


St. Eligio Church

Restoration work was completed in March this year on the exterior of the church dedicated to St. Eligio.

Work included restoration of the main façade of the church, which involved the use of MAPE-ANTIQUE ALLETTAMENTO, a salt-resistant masonry mortar made from natural hydraulic lime and Eco-Pozzolan. The façade was then protected with ANTIPLUVIOL W, a colourless, silane and siloxane-based water-repellent impregnator in watery emulsion.


Museum Of Demographics and Ethnographic Anthropology

The system of itineraries through the Museum of Demographics and Ethnographic Anthropology is an articulated project regarding the Sasso Caveoso.

The floors of the itineraries were coated with the MAPEFLOOR I500 W epoxy formulate in water dispersion. After applying a first coat of MAPEFLOOR I500 W (fully broadcast with QUARTZ O.5), a second coat was applied, using the same product, this time tinted with MAPECOLOR PASTE (Ral 1015). MAPECOAT I600 W was then applied to form a final protective coat of the surface.


Zicari Hotel

An antique palazzo, which had been built in the Sasso Caveoso and abandoned for years, has been transformed into a hotel by carrying out restoration, renovation and consolidation work.

Mapei products were supplied for structural strengthening work, finishing operations and the installation of terracotta floorings.

While carrying out the strengthening work, a layer of render was applied made from MAPE-ANTIQUE STRUTTURALE NHL mortar reinforced with MAPENET EM30 alkali-resistant glass fibre mesh; MAPE-ANTIQUE ALLETTAMENTO mortar was also used for masonry renovation.


Casa Cava

Amongst the numerous initiatives promoted over the years was the renovation of Casa Cava, a hypogeum architectural complex dating back to post-medieval times, which included an ancient pit-like cave, part of which had been used as a house.

The complex, which had been abandoned many years previously and used as a tip, was handed back to the city in 2011 once renovation work – which commenced in 2007 under the supervision of the Sassi Office of Matera – had been completed and transformed the complex into an unusual and spectacular space of more than 900 m2, featuring a theatre and a cultural centre with its own auditorium with seating for 140 spectators.

The ULTRACOAT range of products was also used in this space to restore and refurbish 200 m2 of wood flooring made up of 14 mm thick engineered beech planks set in a raised steel support structure over the substrate.



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