Cluj-Napoca, the antique capital of Transilvania is still today the second most important university city of Romania. Built by the Romans, it takes it’scurrent name from the ancient latin“CastrunClus”, meaning a closed fortress. From 1687 the old fort was used as barracks by the Austrian army. In 1715 work began on a new fort designed by the Italian military engineer, Giovanni Morando Visconti, then completed in 1735.
In 2014 a building originally used for gunpowder storage, was bought by “Arhimar” , the most important Architect Group in Cluj. The old warehouse was to be transformed into offices for Arhimar professionalsand a new showroom in the basement for tile wholesaler “DS Ceramica”, which gave birth to a new brand called iDesign by DS.
The careful restoration work has transformed the old powder magazine into a prestigious “frame” for the most famous Italian brands of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings.
The project presented varies difficulities: raising damp from the pre-existing clay substrate, a low ceiling which required the use of a thin floor application, the necessity to render the floor as strong as possible in order to bear the important weight of the showcases. Plus, with a view to energy savings, a heating system easily to be managed according to the shop opening hours was also required.
In order to meet all of the above requirements, the choice fell to Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM: a safe, low-height, tension free underfloor heating assembly patented by the German multinational Schlüter-Systems.
Schlüter®-BEKOTEC -THERM creates a low-height substrate, using a simple conventional sand and cement screed,without any fibre reinforcement, applied on the preformed panel in polystyrene Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-EN.
- With Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM is possible to obtain a screed of just 8 mm above the studded panel if combined with ceramic tiles or just 15 mm for a resin flooring (as was the case with this project) obtaining a height of just 36-38mm, flooring not included.
- Thanks to such a reduced screed coverage,heating tubes are located close to the floor surface. The radiant system therefore reacts quickly to temperature variations and is characterized by a low thermal inertia.Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM is to all effects an innovative “underfloor heating system” that allows low supply temperatures and a consequent reduced energy consumption.
- With Schlüter®-BEKOTEC system, the screed shrinks in accordance to the panel structure, releasing tensions in a controlled manner along the entire surface. The entire surface remains perfectly flat, avoiding any up- or downbending of the screed.
- In case of rigid type of flooring such as ceramic or natural stones, installation of the uncoupling Schlüter®-DITRA membrane would be required.
For this specific case of Cluj project, instead, a naturally elastic epoxy resin was chosen. In combination with theSchlüter®-BEKOTEC system,a long-lasting crack free flooring is therefore guaranteedeven without the necessity of installing Schlüter®-DITRA.
- By using Schlüter®-BEKOTEC the contraction that occurs when the screed cures is reduced within the pattern of the studs, so that no tension can build as a consequence of contraction buckling. It is therefore not necessary to divide the screed into separate fields with movement joints. Therefore, thanks to Schlüter®-BEKOTEC, it was possible to apply the resin with no disturbing disruption of continuity for the entire surface of the showroom.
Entering the finished iDesignshowroom gives visitorsa breathtaking impression.
The contrast between the ancient and rustic medieval stone-walls and the minimalistic continuous resin floor creates a perfect “stage” for the exhibition of top brand ceramic-products.