CharacteristicsDurable, tough, easy-clean, non-porous, reparable, seamless, lightweight
The city of Pompeii is a popular destination, which has earned World Heritage status from Unesco, attracts archeologists and tourists for its historical relevance. Officials at the Pompeii Archeological Park have looked for ways to preserve the buildings and decorative elements in a manner that respects the remarkable setting. One initiative involves the Championnet Complex, an area that owes its name to Jean Etienne Championnet, a French general serving under Napoleon and a connoisseur of antiquity who continued the excavation work at Pompeii initiated by the Bourbons.
Located close to the Forum, the epicenter of civil, religious and economic life in Pompeii, the site is made up of a collection of stately residential buildings that cover 4,000 square meters. The homes were part of an exclusive neighborhood in the ancient settlement and boasted scenic terraces offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples. Within the complex are exquisite finds, notably the House of the Sailor, which features an impressive mosaic floor depicting ships moored in a harbor. Built with a double atrium, the residence had a private bath and an extensive underground space dedicated to baking.
To protect the remains of this extraordinary residential compound from the elements, park administrators opted for an innovative roofing structure using Corian® Exteriors panels based on a Corian® Solid Surface. Rather than rely on conventional options – wood and glass being popular choices when constructing frameworks to preserve ancient sites and display artifacts – the goal was to erect a covering that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Massimo Pinto, owner of Naples-based Vittorio Pinto Interni and an expert in thermoforming Corian® Solid Surface for interiors came up with a custom-made solution to create a customized covering, based on the project conceived by officials of the Pompeii Archeological Park.
Use of Corian® Solid Surface
Pinto and his team devised a roof covering in Corian® Exteriors made up of a skeleton in galvanized steel that would be covered by thin panels of 12mm crafted out of Corian® Solid Surface in a Distinct Tan color. The top of the cladding panels are flat but feature a curved shape underneath. The neutral brown color blends easily with the masonry from antiquity so as to lessen the impact of using a modern material like Corian® Solid Surface.
Pinto’s firm designed Corian® Exteriors coverings to protect the mosaic floors at the Championnet complex from the sun and rain while making sure to not completely enclose them from natural light so that visitors could appreciate the ancient artwork and stonework of walls fashioned out of rocks that include lava, limestone, and travertine. Two distinct roof coverings were made: the first, a simple rectangular shape measuring 20 sqm; the second, a larger covering made of three layers. Each protective roof was devised with narrow rain gutters on the edges to divert runoff.
Each covering is anchored to the tops of the reconstructed walls via steel pillars that rest on anti-seismic stabilizers. To the naked eye, it appears as if the protective structure is almost floating atop the ruins. The larger roof covering consists of three layers: A rectangular top, while the interspaced elements beneath are L-shaped and constructed to precisely fit the location in terms of shading and support. Corian® Solid Surface is relatively lightweight, highly formable and durable enough to withstand inclement weather over the long run. making it ideal for the requirements of the site.