Bratislava Castle

Restoration of historic courtyard with AquaDrain EK 

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As part of a €126million renovation project, the 1,600 square foot courtyard at the center of this historic castle was redesigned and covered with natural stone.

Large tiles were originally laid on a mortar bed, but for years water had come up through the joints in the substructure, penetrating the seal, leading to efflorescence and frost damage.

In order to protect the small-sized granite paving selected for the courtyard redevelopment, a drainage system was required to quickly remove standing water to prevent water staining. Gutjahr proposed the laying of the AquaDrain EK capillary passive drainage system with drainage mortar to provide rapid drainage.

The AquaDrain EK drainage mat channels water effectively away from the surface, avoiding any damage. Ventilation underneath also ensure the lining dries faster, while the mesh fabric remains permanently permeable to water without permitting the entry of mortar or cement which could block the capillary system.

Thanks to Gutjahr, visitors from around the world can now enjoy this symbol of Slovakia without getting wet feet.

Amsterdam Library

New construction of external courtyard with AquaDrain EK

Amsterdam Library
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With more than 1.5million books on 28,000 square meters, the new headquarters of “Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam” (OBA) is Europe’s largest public libraries and one of the most spectacular buildings in Amsterdam.

Designed by Architect Jo Coenan as a library and urban meeting place, the entrance areas features high-quality limestone to provide a durable and usable area.

To protect the highly moisture absorbent natural stone from water, snow and ice, the entrance area is protected by the AquaDrain EK surface drainage system from Gutjahr.

This is a traditional “mortar” installation, however this would have been counterproductive as it stores water for too long leading to ugly damp stains on the stone. A solution to this problem was found with the installation of 500 square meters of AquaDrain EK – specially designed for the fixing large porous natural stone tiles.

The capillary passive drainage system allows for the rapid removal of surface water through the joints in the tiled surface, with a mesh fabric ensures the drainage channels are not blocked by soluble concrete.

The project was carried out by four contractors over a six week period, helping to create an elegant building that perfectly adapts to the local environment.

Lucae Fountain

Restoration of fountain and courtyard with AquaDrain EK

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Framed by the historic Opera House and the modern skyscraper backdrop: The square in front of the Alte Oper is a popular meeting place in downtown Frankfurt.

At the centre is the Lucae Fountain which was designed according to old plans found of the original fountain which once stood in the square. Inaugurated in 1983, after a few years the well was found to be leaking and became uneconomical to run.

Water leaking onto the granite structure also caused unsightly grey deposits to form on the well structure, making the original colour of the stone barely recognisable. Simultaneously, the fountain lost more water than could be supplied and a highly visible trickle ran across the Opernplatz. The only way to stop this was a total renovation to the underground system, a major overhaul of engineering and optics.

After careful restoration from scratch, the AquaDrain EK system from Gutjahr was incorporated above a tanking system, helping to support the drainage of water before the winter break and protecting the structure permanently from frost damage.

Thanks to the restoration, the Lucae Fountai now shines as the centre of many events around the Frankfurt Opernplatz.