An invitation to the palace
The present-day appearance of Florence’s Palazzo della Signoria, more commonly known as Palazzo Vecchio, is the result of centuries of modifications to the original structure. The latest refurbishment was completed as part of a plan to make the building more functional as a museum and exhibition centre and to strengthen its links with the city of Florence. Back in April 2011, when the Palazzo Vecchio Improvement Plan was approved, the city council launched a project to « … make Palazzo Vecchio more user-friendly for tourists and citizens… ». The subsequent refurbishment work increased the space available to the museum, reorganised and extended visitor routes and provided improved public services.
The work on Palazzo Vecchio formed part of a broader plan to improve access to the city’s historical courtyards. In line with this plan, a large part of the ground floor overlooking Cortile della Dogana along Via dei Gondi was modified with a view to restoring the courtyard to its earlier use as a town square. Rooms previously used as council offices were also converted into new reception areas, creating a more effective access route for visitors entering the museum.
The plans drawn up by the Fine Arts and Crafts Service of Palazzo Vecchio (with architect Daniele Gualandi as director of works), involved the creation of a snack bar and a bookshop (completed in 2013), a ticket office (completed in 2015), and an office and service area (currently under construction and due to be completed in 2017).
The areas that now provide reception, catering and visitor information services on a par with those of the world’s leading museums are finished in a contemporary manner. They nevertheless also reflect the Palazzo’s sober and solid architectural style and the building’s characteristic use of iron and stone. A discreet, elegant atmosphere has been created by three main colours, skilfully enhanced by modern lighting systems. The historical walls, coated in lime-based plaster, are finished in light yellow and beige; the resin panels are in brown; the coverings are in various shades of grey and are particularly spectacular in the futuristic background to the reception area with its antique-look iron finish. An intricate floor pattern is formed by two sizes of Cercom’s In-Out&Reverse Army tiles and through-bodied porcelain tiles decorated using the latest digital technology. Selected for their effective representation of natural stone, especially in the Reverse version that imitates the back face of cut stone, these tiles create a harmonious dialogue with the sizes and colours of the slabs and blocks of grey sandstone in the Dogana courtyard, and serve as an effective link between the museum’s exterior and the reception areas inside.
Cercom Ceramiche, In-Out&Reverse series
30x60 cm - 60x60 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Classe GA - GLA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): Classe 4
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): R ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 - R11(out)
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant