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Dengel Haus Reutte

The Obermarkt 3 house is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and powerful buildings in the market town of Reutte (Tyrol). In 2020, an elaborate restoration took place. Extraordinary design competence was expected in the process. The craftsmanship and design achievements of the past became the challenge of the present. The employees of Hornstein & Co. KG Malerei und Vergoldung took on the task with respect and gave the building new splendour.

Tiroler Friedenswerk gemeinnΓΌtzige Wohnbaugesellschaft m.b.H., Rum (AT)
Hornstein & Co. KG Malerei & Vergoldung, Reutte (AT)
Reutte, Germany
  • Universalputz
  • Turado
  • Soldalit-Arte

Women power make historic facade shine

The contract for the restoration of the facade went to the company Hornstein & Co. KG Malerei & Vergoldung, a Reutter family business in its 4th generation. The traditional company, which is more than 100 years old, has a very special connection to the Dengel House: almost 100 years ago - in 1924 - a "painter Hornstein" had already worked on this facade, the founder of the painting company Josef Hornstein. Now his great-granddaughter, Gabi Hornstein, has taken on the enormous challenges of this historic house with an all-women team.

Expertise in heritage required

The house fronts, elaborately decorated with facade paintings, once reflected the wealth of the owners. However, some of the paintings were in a very poor condition. The following measures were agreed upon in cooperation with the heritage office:

The later additions on the east and west sides were demolished. Loose and damaged plaster surfaces were carefully removed. The facade and facade painting were cleaned mechanically with water and a sponge or dry with a wish-up. The cleaning was done in such a way that no damage was caused to the still existing facade painting. Plaster foreign to the material was removed, cracks and joints were scraped out. In the areas where extensions were removed, new bricks were laid and pre-plastered with an NHL plaster. Deep defects on the entire facade were filled with KEIM Turado and then plastered with Keim Universalputz at the same level and with a matching texture. KEIM Turado is low-stress and therefore ideally suited for covering and levelling out load-bearing old plasters or paints. As various organic and inorganic materials were used for restoration and repairs to the facade, KEIM Purkristalat could not be used for the restoration. Thus, in consultation with the heritage office, it was decided to use a sol-silicate paint. The facade surface was painted with KEIM Soldalit-fixativ to level the differently absorbent substrates. Subsequently, the zero surfaces were coated with KEIM Soldalit-arte, a titanium dioxide-free sol-silicate-based facade paint, using a brush to even out structural differences and to slurry hairline cracks. The two final coats were also applied with KEIM Soldalit-arte with the brush.

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Perfectly prepared and executed

A particular challenge for Gabi Hornstein and her team was the architectural painting. Where it was still well preserved - for example on the west side - it was far too strong in colour. In addition, new windows were installed for the planned future use, so that new window frames also had to be painted to fit harmoniously into the overall picture.

In order to be optimally prepared for the project, in the winter of 2019, in the workshop of the Hornstein painting company, the employees and apprentices made hole tracings, created sample surfaces and painted two complete window frames in original size. In this way, everyone was able to familiarise themselves with the material and, above all, learn the shapes and subtleties of painting as well as plastic shaping. The knowledge of how to use the right tools and application methods was really trained. In spring 2020, the preliminary work on the facade began and in early summer, the restoration or completion of the architectural painting could be tackled. The biggest challenge was to match the numerous differences in colour tone on the four sides of the facade without completely repainting the motifs. As much of the original painting as possible was to be retained. KEIM Soldalit-arte is a very glazing product and so it was possible to control the opacity very well with the paint application and to adjust the colourfulness individually from window to window accordingly.

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Painter of the Year 2022

The Hornstein painting company thus competed for the title "Painter of the Year 2022" of the trade magazine Mappe and was the winner in the category "Historic Buildings". The jury praised "an outstanding final result that protects cultural heritage and continues to write about it in a way that is fit for the future, that is a joy to look at and discover, and that gives hope that more young painters will once again make the profession and the city more attractive and of higher quality". Josef Hornstein would certainly be proud of his great-granddaughter Gabi and her team.

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