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Audi Centre

Audi Centre – the new generation Exclusive presentation for the new models from this exclusive brand

  • Building Type: Commercial Construction
  • Pad: Natural Stone
  • Brand: Codex
  • City: 89000
  • Country: International

"Audi is a premium brand. That will be demonstrated to the customer in the future and wherever he comes in direct contact with the brand", explained Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, deputy chairman of the board of Audi AG at the inauguration of the fist new Audi Centre. The construction of the Audi Centres heralds a new sales era: Audi does not join in its presentation with the group parent company VW but presents itself independently. Features of the Audi Centres are the extraordinary architecture, reminiscent of a modern-day aircraft hangar, and the style of the interior with elements of modern design.

Falk Wunschel, master tiling contractor from Seelingstädt in the Thuringian region, was awarded the contract for the tiling installation in six of the nine new Audi Centres. The conditions that had to be observed were enormous: from a tight time schedule to the most precise design guidelines.

"The new architecture lets the customers experience the world of Audi. The architectural structures in the interior areas should emit a warmth in which people feel well", said the munich architect Prof. Klaus Schmidhuber who, in conjunction with the Audi project team, put together the whole design concept. Clearly, he selected a floor covering that is natural and hard-wearing and yet emphasises the exclusive image of Audi.

Natural stone combines these requirements ideally and was, therefore, the first choice. In projects that not only set high aesthetic demand on the material but also require long-term consistent properties despite heavy wear, then both the right stone and the appropriate care in installation are required. Fundamentally there are two problems that can be encountered: discoloration and deformation.

Causes of discoloration in natural stone

Here, several fundamentally different causes must be differentiated:
a) natural colour variation
b) colour changes due to UV light and airborne contamination
c) colour changes from type of use
d) colour changes from cleaning procedures
e) colour changes caused by the installation

Causes of deformation in natural stone tiling
The second problem that especially affects large format, thin tiles, is the tendency towards deformation. Some natural stones require special care. Even at cutting and polishing stage, these visually very attractive and, therefore, desirable materials can display dishing. This tendency in the stone is enhanced with the take-up of water that occurs later during installation with hydraulic setting adhesive mortars that offer too long an open time.

For the above reasons, it was important to Falk Wunschel to use a natural stone adhesive that developed high early strength with a low water volume and, at the same time, prevents discoloration. His choice was the flexible natural stone adhesive, codex Stone Flex from the Ulm-based construction chemicals specialist codex.

The rapid setting, highly plasticised natural stone adhesive contains special white cements, mineral aggregates and additives. Fast and flexible installation of the natural stone selected by Audi AG (Tropical Sun) was therefore guaranteed. The dry factory-blended mortar is mixed with cold, clean water to a plastic, lump-free consistency. After a standing time of approx. 3 minutes, the mortar is mixed again and then applied. Onto a previously applied, thin, fully sealed scratch-coat applied with a smoothing-trowel, a further coat of adequate thickness is applied fresh-in-fresh and is then evenly combed through with a notched trowel. After approx. 4 hours, the flooring accepts foot traffic and can be grouted the next day with the system product codex Brillant Stone.

The rapid setting natural stone grout mortar is suitable for joint widths up to five millimetres. It gives a smooth, fine, sealed joint which is impressive for its brilliant colour and light-fastness as well as its excellent application properties. Existing connection- and movement- joints were sealed with a one-component mastic joint-sealant based on a neutral curing silicone.

The Audi showroom concept provides different areas based on a circular construction. Around a central circle are located sectors differentiated by the type of natural stone. All of the natural stone used were pre-cut by water-jet and then exactly laid to plan. In total, around  600 m² of tiles were used; in addition, around 700 m² of tiles that were used in offices and washrooms. They were installed using a conventional plasticised tiling adhesive, Fliesurit Plus from codex. However, Falk Wunschel did not forget to provide the proper substrate preparation. The anhydrite screed was shot-blasted and then primed with codex Fliesengrund, a solvent-free protective- and bonding- agent. This sealed the substrate surface, bound dust and strengthened the surface. Using a fine-pored foam roller, the installation team applied the Fliesengrund to give an even full coat over the whole area. Then, onto the completely dry primer, as described above, the appropriate adhesive was applied.

Falk Wunschel is pleased: the deadlines were met and the quality of the installation satisfied Audi so much that he received orders for further Audi car dealerships.