Conservation and Restoration | Architectural Surfaces and Wallpaintings
Architectural Surfaces and wallpaintings
The specialist department Architectural Surfaces and Wallpaintings, made up of six staff members, is responsible for the inspection and maintenance, conservational assessment and examinations, concept development and the conservation and restoration of all historical surfaces of façades and interiors, as well as the building substance of more than 150 architectural monuments overseen by the SPSG.
The objects in our care – frequently preserved in their original condition or showing traces of various periods of time – were produced for the most part with a high level of craftsmanship and artistic quality. They originate from important architects and artists, including Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, who created the interior design of the rooms at Sanssouci Palace in the style of the Frederician Rococo, and Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who designed the interiors at Charlottenhof Palace.
The spectrum of rare, luxury surfaces in the Prussian palaces and their many adjacent buildings ranges from technically complex wall paintings and murals to stencil ornamentation, metal coatings, lacquering, painted surfaces and faux materials, to grottowork and stucco. Examples include the restoration, completed in 2014, of the technically complex and intricately designed ceiling of the Grotto Hall in the New Palace that included an abundance of minerals, precious and semi-precious stones, glass stones, colored slag, fossils, shells, snail shells and paintwork; the restoration of the Stibadium in the Paradise Garden, built as a garden pavilion with painted Italian landscapes in the Pompeiian style in 1846 for King Frederick William IV, according to designs by Ludwig Persius; and the restoration and reconstruction of the oak bark façade of the “Beelitzer Jagdschirm” (a hunting blind and garden pavilion) erected on Berlin’s Peacock Island in 1796.
Also under the care of the department are the surfaces of many historical structural elements made of quite diverse materials, such as metal, stone and wood – ranging from railings to cast zinc cornice ornamentation. The workmanship of surfaces on movable objects, like coaches, sedan chairs and sculpted objects made of stone, also come under the domain of the conservators’ responsibilities.
The staff of this specialist department have years of experience and accumulated knowledge, both of the special workmanship used in the Prussian palaces and of those employed in modern restoration. The staff carries out the work or supervises its implementation by specialized companies. The preparation of restoration concepts, cost calculations, service specifications, and quality and cost controls are regular job components. The great variety of objects and materials necessitates an interdisciplinary working approach spanning specializations and departments.