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Reconstructie antieke parketvloer M-Museum Leuven

antieke parket vloer met inlegwerk

Museum-M (Museum for modern and ancient art) is located in a former city palace, built around 1830 by the mare of the city of Leuven, to receive his guests. The palace was richly decorated and also the floors were magnificent parquets in marquetry. The parquets were prepared in workshops in Brussels, and thereafter as panels installed in the palace.

Later, the palace became property of the city of Leuven, and they transformed the palace into the museum of the city. Due to the intense use as a museum floor, but also as a consequence of damage during the wars, the parquet was in a realy bad state, so bad that restauration unfortunately was not longer possible.
That’s why has been decided, to replace the original floor by an exact copy.

Leuven organised a competition to executie this work. Four companies participated, but an independent jury assigned the job to Filip Redant from Atelier Passe Partout. Atelier Passe Partout was the smallest comany out of the four, but the most specialized in artisanal traditional parquet.

Filip carefully took over the designs of the old floors (three salons with a different pattern each, exclusive borders) and based on these drawings, all the wood has been sawn on beforehand: approx. 60.000 pieces of wood for a surface of only 130m2. This sawing took about three months.

In the meantime, the original floors have been removed and the soil has been digged out one meter. Technical pipes for airco, ventilation, heating, electricity… were then installed and the space was finally filled with isolation and cement screed (concrete). Different from the old system of placing the parquet in big panels, the new parquet is being placed – on top of an oak subfloor (mosaic) – piece by piece.

All pieces have been sawn by hand, since laser or CNC was forbidden. The used wood, oak quarter cut and mahogany, had to be FSC and PEFC, but this is standard with Atelier Passe Partout.
Since it’s a traditional parquet (9mm parquet glued with Bostik-D38 and nailed on an oak subfloor of 8mm) the parquet had to be sanded after installation, starting with abrasive grain P40, over P80, P100, P120 to polishing with Bona-scrad, and finalize with Bona craft oil and beewax.
To install, sand and finalize the parquet in the three salons, Leuven foresaw four months, but Filip Redant succeeded in three months.

A few months later, the museum had it’s official opening by the Belgian Queen Mathilde and Queen Maxima from The Netherlands. Since then, many beautiful exhibitions took place in the renovated Museum-M.


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