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Story 010 – 2008 – Products

Warm foundation for a unique exhibition

Cuprotherm in the International Maritime Museum Hamburg

The former quay warehouse Kaispeicher B in Hamburg was converted into a unique maritime museum in 2008. Included: Wieland Cuprotherm heating pipes, ideally meeting the special requirements of the floor covering made of mastic asphalt in the entrance area.

The International Maritime Museum is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Hamburg's HafenCity. One reason is the spectacular, neo-Gothic brick architecture of the former quay warehouse Kaispeicher B from 1879, which houses the museum since its opening in 2008. And then, of course, because of the worldwide unique collection of maritime exhibits from Professor Peter Tamm's private collection: more than 25,000 ship models, 900 of which are large-scale, 50,000 construction plans, around 1.5 million photos and 120,000 books, as well as countless documents, uniforms, nautical equipment, traditional tools, and much more bring 3,000 years of shipping history to life on 11,500 square metres of exhibition space. And all this is housed in an incomparable ambience that reinterprets the architectural character of the 19th-century quay warehouse with state-of-the-art technology.

In an ambitious project, the listed building was completely renovated and converted. One of the many challenges was the ground floor with foyer, tills, cloakroom, museum shop and café. The floor had to be completely renewed and equipped with a modern heating system. For technical and optical reasons, an innovative top layer of polished mastic asphalt with integrated underfloor heating was chosen.

This was no everyday challenge, as the mastic asphalt needs to be applied at temperatures of 240 degrees Celsius. These are conditions for which bare copper pipes are ideally suited due to their high heat resistance. No wonder, then, that Cuprotherm tubes from Wieland were chosen. These were laid according to exact specifications in the dimensions 14 x 0.8 mm on an area covering more than 1,000 square meters, fastened with double braces and brazed at the joints.

After the application of two layers of mastic asphalt, which subsequently was polished to achieve a noble terrazzo effect, nothing more could be seen of the cuprotherm pipes. But the five heating circuits – supplied by district heating - ensure that the entrance area of the museum always receives visitors with pleasant temperatures.

The Cuprotherm heating pipes were covered with 240 degree hot mastic asphalt. In a second step, the visible top layer was applied.

The polished BituTerrazzo floor on the ground floor of the museum is not only particularly resistant, it also contributes a lot to the special ambience in the entrance area.