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"Vesperkirche" Stuttgart: masonry rehabilitated.

In the heart of Stuttgart, there lies the Protestant Leonhardskirche. At the socle of the late Gothic building, a salt contamination occurred that linearly spread inwards. An extraction seemed to be hopeless and uneconomical. Therefore, a multiple skin work was necessary which features a particularly good salt compatibility.

Situation and assignment.

Because of the exposed position of the Leonhardskirche at the center of the 'red-light and entertainment district' of Stuttgart, the socle was strongly damaged. The plaster showed spallings, salt efflorescences, moisture edges and brittle spots. Because the salination reached deeply into the masonry, the responsible persons decided to rehabilitate it with a plaster system withstanding the special load.


Preliminary examinations and selection of the material.


Since 2003 the rehabilitation of the Leonhardskirche has been prepared. Specimens of the Materials Testing Institute Stuttgart (MPA) showed a high contamination of nitrates (> 1%) and chlorides (0.4%) mainly in the plaster and also on the surface of the sandstones. The preliminary examinations and the rehabilitation work has been coordinated by the restorer Albert Kieferle from AeDis Hochdorf. Epasit was charged to provide sample surfaces consisting of leveling plaster and renovation plaster. A competitor created a sample out of a sacrificial plaster and both surfaces have been observed over several years. From summer 2008, the rehabilitation
was finally restricted to the socle area for financial reasons.

Rehabilitation with individually dyed plaster.

The company Colic Stuckrestaurator from Friedrichshafen has been commissioned to completely remove the existing plaster and to rake out and dry clean loose joints. Subsequently, the epasit hb Haftspritzbewurf was applied in a semiopaque way. According to specifications, the socle was then plastered with an individually reddish dyed lpf-WTA renovation plaster of a film thickness averaging 30 mm. The plaster surface will not appear leveled, but uneven like the neighboring masonry. The plaster has been dyed in order to avoid the appearance of the differently colored plaster in case of possible damages. The restorer, Mr Kieferle, justifies the selection of the material as follows: 'In the total evaluation, besides the good salt compatibility, above all the colorfulness of the material takes effect, which represented a very good basis for the dyeing.' Finally, the socle of the church was coated with a silicone resin color.


Long-term proven rehabilitation system.

The system used for the rehabilitation of moist masonry affected by salt has been developed by epasit already in the early seventies and only insignificantly changed since then. Objects rehabilitated already decades ago are still in a perfect condition. MineralSanoPro stops disintegration and regulates moisture: With its high pore volume, a limited absorptive capacity and a good water vapor permeability, it causes the natural dehydration of the walls. It fulfills all requirements of the Monument Protection Authority, and of the DIN EN 998-1 standard and was awarded, as the first renovation plaster system, the WTA certificate.

Leonhardskirche then and now.

The church built in the 15th century was totally destroyed in July 1944. At the end of the war, it was reconstructed as the first of the late gothic churches of Stuttgart and consecrated already in 1950. For the last 18 years, the Protestant church accomodates the 'Vesperkirche'. In the social environment of the city it has been a permanent address where, daily, up to 1,000 persons visit it. Between January and Palm Sunday people find more than a warm plate of soup in the Vesperkirche: On offer is food, medical and veterinary care, rest, conversations, legal advice and vocational guidance.



 


 



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