On 22 September this year the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam will reopen with a festive ceremony. This will complete the first part of the historic building's renovation, and the new building will also be completed.


Building type Public building (International)
Area 200 m² carpet from Wilton weaving technique.
Country Netherlands

A specifically designed 200 m² tapestry – showing, amongst others, the old layout of the Stedelijk Museum – links the old and the new construction of the "Stedelijk". The creation of the tapestry is the result of intensive cooperation between the design office Inside Outside from Amsterdam and the carpet manufacturer Desso, who has sponsored the project. The solvent-free carpet UZIN WK 222 was used to bond this special carpet.

The task

Both, for the Desso team and the design agency Inside Outside this was a "unique project", says Hanneke Heydenrijk, design team manager of the Desso HMA division. "The cooperation was very dynamic and we have perfectly complemented each other.” The Wilton weaving technique was used for this wall covering. Using innovative weaves and structures within the limits of this technique the designers compiled a range of grey tones and thereby achieved an extraordinary design, and that for a project of this scope. The subsequent task was to apply the tapestry to the wall - with level structure and an absolutely secure bond.

The challenge

The size of the tapestry combined with the special art collection of the "Stedelijk" represented quite a challenge: How do you fasten such a tapestry and what about ensuring fire protection? General Director Kristel Leerkes of Boerhof Projectinrichters from Heeten: "This was no easy task, but fortunately we were able to rely on the technical know-how of our own people and that of our suppliers. In this case, it was UZIN. We prepared this project also intensively with Desso. When Desso approached us we immediately agreed to this task. However, we had quite a number of discussions before we started the work in Amsterdam."

The implementation

The tapestry was applied by Boerhof Projectinrichters from Heeten. The room designers fastened the carpet directly onto chipboards. It was delivered in 4-metre sheets and later bonded with UZIN WK 222. Because this is a contact adhesive, both the wall and the carpet had to be coated with UZIN WK 222. Next, the carpet was glued onto the wall. Because of the enormous weight of the carpet, it was secured with small nails at strategic points. Tijs Vloedgraven from Boerhof Projectinrichters: "Then the work of pressing down the carpet began. With five people on a scaffold, this was quite exciting, and applying sufficient force was not easy. Fortunately, I am not afraid of heights."

The solution

The choice of the adhesive manufacturer was rather easy for Boerhof. For many years they had been successfully working with Unipro from Haaksbergen – the manufacturer of high-quality adhesives and levelling compounds of the UZIN brand. Just as Unipro, Boerhof puts much emphasis on "healthy and sustainable work". The choice to fix the tapestry with the solvent-free contact adhesive UZIN WK 222 was therefore a logical one. Tom Borggreve from UZIN: "Our Neoprene adhesive has major advantages over other contact adhesives. The adhesive is water-based and functions like a solvent-based contact adhesive, but it is much better for the health of the installers and the end user." The product bears the EC 1 test seal, meaning it has very low emission and therefore meets the requirements of health protection. However, there were also other factors that were key in choosing UZIN WK 222.

"You can image that we could not afford to run any risk of the carpet possibly detaching itself. Especially with wall coverings, the final strength and the short drying time of the contact adhesive are extremely important. The final strength of UZIN WK 222 is much higher than that of a conventional contact adhesive. Another factor not to be neglected: because of the invaluable pieces of art displaced at the museum the "Stedelijk" requested fire protection class B1. Of course, in housing the artwork of Mondriaan, Picasso, and Gerrit, any fire risk will be absolutely avoided. With the IMO certification of UZIN WK 222 we could fully meet this requirement." IMO is a term from shipping. To guarantee safety on board, all products used on ships must meet the requirements of IMO in regard to fire protection, smoke development, etc. "As far as this is concerned, the artwork is absolutely safe here" says Tom Borggreve.

The result

The enormous black and white tapestry has a width of 31 metres and a height of 14 metres at its highest point. Tijs: "This is something different than applying a base board or to cover a wall with  textile floor covering. However, I considered this an interesting challenge to leave our "footprint" in Amsterdam, together with the innovative weaving techniques from Desso.”

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