Bespoke Mosaic – Commercial

Library Walk, Manchester

We were approached by Laing O’Rourke and Ian Simpson Architects to undertake a project for Manchester County Council.

The project was to create a mosaic floor to be installed into a new glass structure that will connect Manchester Town Hall and Library. We were asked to replicate the original mosaic design found in the Victorian Town Hall. This consists of a motif set on a grid pattern surrounded by a white random field.

The motif is made using three colours of marble, Belgian Black, Bardiglio, which is the grey, and Rosso Verona, which is the red. These marble varieties were commonly used throughout the Victorian and Edwardian period in mosaics. The new area is 120m2 and consists of 200 Cotton flower motifs. We sourced all the marble from our supplier who has direct contact with all the quarries in Italy. This ensures a suitable marble is selected that compliments the original found in the Town Hall. The marble arrives in sheets, which we cut down, into smaller sheets, then strips and then individual tesserae.

We use a mix of modern and traditional techniques when making our mosaics. We made 150 mosaic panels in our workshop with approximately 500,000 hand cut tesserae. The panels were then installed and the joins feather together, this took 12 weeks. The mosaic was then polished, grouted and sealed.

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