600,000 pieces of Murano glass tiles
In 2021, interior salon KRASSKY implemented one of the most technically ambitious public projects in company's history – the floor in the central lobby of the new Ventspils Science and Innovation Centre VIZIUM. The 365 m2 large flooring is designed as a round world map that consists of more than 600,000 pieces of Murano glass tiles. Both the tiles and the project itself are 100% handmade: it merges the skills of the world's most experienced mosaic designers from Ravenna and KRASSKY installation crew.
This floor not only demonstrates the high-quality artistic value and technically complex design of the project. It will also be used as an exhibit of this science centre and a practical geographical object for studies. The map will be used as an educational gaming element, inviting children to gather in a certain country or continent.
Several ideas were submitted for the project competition, but in order to fit into the budget and preserve the originality and quality of the project, it was necessary to find an individual solution. This is why for floor design KRASSKY chose to cooperate with world's leading mosaic tile manufacturers that surpacces every other company – SICIS. The Murano glass tiles offered by the manufacturer are produced after historically authentic technology – this glass was used by skilled Italian craftsmen of Murano Island since the 13th century. It is special for visual splendor and artistic value – when looking at the Murano glass, patterns of flowers, precious stones and rainbows appear. Even today, those works of art are only made by hand.
Created in Italy, this flooring not only carries a cultural and historical value, but also meets all the contemporary technical requirements – a certain thickness, anti-slip, durability and other specifications that must be complied with in public buildings.
The best mosaic specialists in the world worked on this project in Italy. Using traditional techniques, they crafted the pieces of the mosaic by hand, cutting each tile separately. With such a meticulous approach, one artisan can prepare only 1.5-2 square meters of this artistic mosaic per day. Before the transportation to Ventspils, the tile drawing was laid out at the SICIS factory and was curated by world's leading mosaic specialists. Afterwards, the tiles were delivered to Latvia in numbered packages, just like a “puzzle” – with an exact map, showing how they should be laid out. The laying of mosaic tiles was implemented by KRASSKY specialists, it took five months and required the adaptation of many technical solutions in situ. Considering that the size of each tile is only 2.3 x 2.3 cm, tiling of the 365 m2 large area was a particularly scrupulous task.
The map of Latvia, unlike the rest of the world map, is made of a metal plate. During the construction, a special capsule with a message for the future was hidden underneath it. The world map is arranged in such a way, so that Ventspils and Latvia are located in the very center of the space.
Ventspils Science and Innovation Centre VIZIUM was put into operation in September 2021, and will open its doors to visitors in June 2022. VIZIUM's mission is to speak clearly about the interaction of physics, nature, substance, sound and light, as well as to promote the understanding of science and its comprehensive character in different target audiences. The science centre will offer educational, interactive exhibition halls, interactive exhibits, science shows, laboratories, conference rooms, classrooms and technical creative workshops – all to introduce visitors to natural sciences.