Home to the civic museum in Vicenza since 1855, Palazzo Chiericati was designed by Andrea Palladio in 1550 as the noble residence of Count Girolamo Chiericati, the building of which was completed in the seventeenth century. Since 1994, the Civic Art Gallery has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other buildings by Palladio in the city.
Palladio created an absolutely unprecedented form of architecture for that period: a palazzo and villa together in the same building. Comprising a central body with two symmetrical wings set slightly further back, Palazzo Chiericati has, on the ground floor, a portico with columns running the length of the façade, and, on the piano nobile, two elegant loggias at the ends of the central section.
To lend magnificence to this building, but also to protect it from frequent flooding, Palladio raised it on a 50 cm podium and emphasised the central part of the facade with a monumental staircase.
Reasons for the cleaning
The sixteenth-century staircase in untreated Vicenza Stone, in addition to normal wear and tear from foot traffic had also suffered due to being covered with carpet. Attached with double-sided adhesive tape; the glue has over time left evident marks that were difficult to remove.
The 240 m² of marble floor in the loggia and the external baseboard covering the perimeter wall had lost its natural patina due to wear and foot traffic and it was dirty and stained.
“The work was preceded by a careful inspection and tests, necessary to work out which were the most suitable products and treatment methods,” said surveyor Paolo Zuliani, FILA Consulting Division Manager, FILA Service “The work, carried out in a truly meticulous and professional manner by the company Stone Project, respected our recommendations and the client's requirements, together with the restrictions enforced by the superintendence. We are, therefore, pleased with the result achieved, which has restored splendour to this Palazzo of historical importance in the centre of Vicenza.”
The main internal staircase that connects all the floors in the Palazzo (in Vicenza Stone) and the landings (in terracotta, in “Venetian Terrazzo” marble-concrete and in Vicenza Stone) were first of all treated with FILASOLV wax remover to eliminate residues of glue left by the adhesive and then washed with FILAPS87 (diluted 1:10) and finally with FILA DETERDEK (diluted 1:15). The cleaning was carried out strictly by hand, without the use of machinery, in order not to harm the stone surfaces, subject to restrictions imposed by the Fine Arts Commission.
An eco-friendly solution – FILAMP90 ECOPLUS - was chosen for protection; a water-based stain protector with low VOC emissions, which helps toward achieving LEED® credits, GEV certified with EC1PLUS marking. FILAMP90 ECOPLUS does not form a surface film as it penetrates deep down into the material, protecting it without altering the appearance or chemical-physical characteristics of the stone. Once dry, FILAMATT natural-effect finishing protector was applied to make maintenance easier and stop dirt from sticking to the surface. The marble floors in the external loggia and baseboard were cleaned with FILAPS87 degreasing detergent (diluted 1:20) and a single-brush machine.