MAPEI was recently selected to supply materials used in the restoration of the exterior of the world-renowned Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Since the famous spiral building opened in 1959, the exterior has been beset by cracks, affecting its aesthetic qualities and risking corrosion within its steel reinforcements. In 2004 the Guggenheim initiated a four-year restoration process that included extensive monitoring and product testing.

After removing 12 layers of coatings which had been applied over the years, two firms retained by the Guggenheim, the architectural conservation firm Integrated Conservation Resources (ICR) and the structural engineering firm Robert Silman Associates, PC, mapped every crack in the exposed surface. After in-depth research and extensive testing, ICR recommended the use of MAPEI products for the exterior restoration. MAPEI had a single-source system that could provide all the materials needed for this phase of the restoration. When ICR principals visited MAPEI’s R&D laboratory, they learned that the company had extensive resources available to solve any problems the restoration encountered.

Norman Weiss, Professor of Architectural Conservation at Columbia University and a member of the ICR team, summed up the Guggenheim’s final choice: “After the testing we were ready to say we have a manufacturer of product, and more importantly a manufacturer we can work with. In other words, not just a company that’s going to sell us products and go home but one that’s going to have people on site and be there to train contractors to handle the products properly, to examine any problems that might arise in the field and work on modifications.”

The following MAPEI products were used in the restoration: Mapefer™ 1K; Planitop® XS; Mapelastic™; and Elastocolor Rasante.

“Our ability to draw upon a global network of technological resources has allowed us to meet the challenge presented by the Guggenheim restoration,” commented Rainer Blair, President and CEO of MAPEI Americas. “The museum will now join the ranks of many worldwide projects renovated with MAPEI products, including the Vatican, the Kremlin, the La Scala opera house and the Statue of Liberty. We are very proud that the Guggenheim chose MAPEI products to rejuvenate its treasured home in New York City.”