We planned a new exhibition space for the Porcelaingres headquarters, incorporating our expanded 2cm outdoor tile range, the new Outdoor Special range with mouldings, outdoor furniture and garden accessories from our fine stoneware range.
We gathered initial ideas to redesign our outdated entrance area, and to simultaneously create an attractive break and rest area for our customers and employees.
Planning began in the winter in order to anticipate the growth phase of the new plants.
The plan was prepared by our marketing and human resources management departments to ensure sufficient seating and resting options and several bike racks for the company's bicycles. At the same time, our technical department worked on the most suitable laying method.
Since there were no concrete slabs in the new areas, and the production of new slabs would have been too time- and cost-intensive, the pedestals and screed laying methods were not an option.
The aim was also to avoid creating additional water-sealed surfaces, but instead to allow rainwater to drain off systematically. Nevertheless, the floor surface would have to maintain its stability over many years without producing a hollow sound, at the same time as withstanding heavy weights such as garden accessories and heavy loads on wheels without damage. Bonded construction on a drainage grout was the only solution.
At the same time, a landscape architect planned the greenery. We made sure to select plants that would endure the strong sunlight on the south side and, at the same time, that different plants would bloom throughout the summer.
We also chose a light tile colour to reduce surface heating.
Preparation and excavation work, the removal of the old plants, the existing turf and the underlying humus layer began in March.
In the next step, a compacted base course (frost-proof layer) of crushed stone was laid and compacted, along with the power and irrigation lines. Planters were installed within the tile surface to enable a sufficiently thick humus layer and irrigation, as well as spot footings for securing the tall flower tubs.
Our in-house tilers mixed the drainage grout from 2-5 mm double-crushed chips and Sopro trass cement, and laid the 2cm fine stoneware tiles themselves.
They applied the moist drainage grout to the gravel base layer with a thickness of about 5cm and a gradient of 2%, and tapped the 120x60 and 60x60 format tiles into the fresh drainage grout with a joint width of 5mm. The grouting used was a Sopro flexible joint grout, since the drainage runs to the side of the tiled surfaces. To improve adhesion, our experts applied a frost-resistant adhesive - Sopro Megaflex - to the underside of the tiles. The surfaces were already walkable the next day.
The outdoor seating and various tubs were set up just in time. The tall tubs were glued to the existing spot footings with an epoxy glue to prevent the containers from accidentally tipping over. The drainage of the tubs to prevent waterlogging was a particular challenge.
The drainage surfaces were filled with a dark granite gravel, and the planters and tubs were filled.
Our customers and employees solemnly inaugurated the newly designed outdoor complex on the 2018 Open Day.