"The State Hermitage owns the collection that comprises nearly 3 million of works of art and monuments of the world culture. The collection includes: paintings, graphics, sculpture, items of applied art, archaeological finds, and numismatic items.
The large complex of Hermitage situated in the centre of St. Petersburg includes: the Winter Palace (a former residence of Russian emperors), Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre and the Reserve House. Apart from the above-mentioned buildings, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building also make part of the museum.
Famous parquet floorings of the State Hermitage created by outstanding architects of the XIX century are quite old. In 2000 a special programme was launched ("Hermitage floors") according to which the museum’s parquet flooring is restored".
Since 2003 the company Art Parquet is a corporative backer for the State Hermitage. The company completes restoration and reconstruction of historically valuable unique parquet floorings:
- 2010: Halls of the Winter Palace (512 sqm, artistic parquet, mosaic parquet);
- 2007: Halls of Germany (300 sqm, mosaic parquet)
- 2007: The Grand Church of the Winter Palace (450 sqm, artistic parquet);
- 2006: Hall in front of the Grand Church (185 sqm, artistic parquet);
- 2005: Halls No258, 272, 281 (590 sqm, mosaic parquet);
- 2003: Halls of France (1000 sqm, mosaic parquet).
Halls of the Winter Palace No 168 - 173
Art Parquet accomplished restoration of parquet flooring that was 160 years old (512 sqm).
The parquet flooring appraisal showed that because of high foot traffic and absence of protective lacquer coating parquet flooring practically completely lost its aesthetic appearance and functionality. The wear layer was very thin, in some places there was no wear layer, later insertions of other wood species could be found.
Art Parquet strengthened floor battens with their partial substitution, additional carriers were installed. 70% of parquet flooring needed to be completely replaced. Wood species (ebony, mahogany, hornbeam) were carefully selected according to expert evidence and archives.
Halls of Germany
Total area of the reconstructed parquet flooring was 300 sqm. The main problem was that before restoration works began the flooring thickness was no more than 10 mm.
The Grand Church of the Winter Palace
The works lasted 4 months (450 sqm). Parquet flooring in the Grand Church of the Winter Palace is one of the oldest floorings. It was worn out till the thickness of 2-3 mm, in some places it was lost, insertions of other wood species could be found, underlying base was considerably destroyed.
During reconstruction works beams and shields of the underlying base were restored and strengthened. Some fragments of parquet flooring were badly damaged, they were restored from the ground up. During parquet reconstruction the specialists used old blank parts from the underground floor of the State Hermitage. Parquet flooring was reconstructed up to 95%.
The most complicated process was the process of reconstruction of ancient engraving that was completely lost. The design pattern of the engraving was taken from historical archives and was manually reconstructed.
Hall in front of the Grand Church
Total area of the reconstructed parquet flooring was 185 sqm.
Parquet flooring in the Hall in front of the Grand Church was never restored. Subfloor, foundation, floor battens and shields were badly damaged. Parquet flooring in the Hall was covered by carpet. The lost of parquet flooring, in particular curvilinear decor elements, composed 35%.
During parquet reconstruction the specialists used old blank parts from the underground floor of the State Hermitage. Boards of precious wood species were kept in the underground floor during 200 years. 14 wood species were used during the reconstruction of parquet flooring in the Hall in front of the Grand Church.
The design pattern of the ancient engraving was restored manually (graphier).
Halls No 258, 272, 281
Total area of the reconstructed parquet flooring was 590 sqm. Works were accomplished in one week.
During works floor battens and beams were changed; new plank flooring was installed according to ancient samples; parquet panels with big linear geometric pattern were restored; skirting and hand-rails of complicated shape were reconstructed.