OHL is to install the world’s largest hand-painted, ceramic mural in the Oran Convention Centre
February 9, 2010
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In the Oran Convention Centre (Algeria), being constructed by the OHL Group, OHL is to install the world’s largest hand-painted, ceramic mural, with a surface area of 2,009 m2. At 58.4 m wide and 34.4 m high, it will be composed of 51,392 tiles of 20 cm x 20 cm, made from red clay and with a second firing temperature of 1,000ºC.
As a point of reference, this mural will be 3.5 times bigger than that of Joan Miro’s work at the Palacio de Congresos on the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, which is 600m2 and measures 60m x 10m.
The mural was designed by Algerian Tewfik Boumehdi, son of the prestigious and renowned ceramist from Algiers, Mohammed Boumehdi, who founded his workshop in 1966.
The mural is to cover almost all of the western facade of the Palacio de Congresos, a windowless facade whose interior will house the main auditorium, with a capacity for 2,700 people. It will be placed before a sheet of water that joins the Palace to the Convention Centre’s luxury hotel.
The mural is made up of a repeating pattern of 54 identical sections framed by a matching ceramic frieze. OHL assigned its construction to a recognised workshop of ceramic craftsman in the centre of Spain.
The technique of tile-painting employed is overglazing, traditional in the Talavera de la Reina region, hand-decorated with a base of silicon oxides. The mural’s colour palette, with the exception of the turquiose, is also similar to that of Talavera. The addition to these traditional techniques is the use of a matte enamel to avoid the reflections that could be produced by placing the mural before a sheet of water
Craftsmen from eight workshops in the region, a total of 23 people, will work together on the project. They will be strictly controlled by a dozen renowned painters, also from Talavera.
According to the management of the ceramics factory, this task reinforces their strategy of internationalisation through the offer of a new organisation of handcrafted projects adaptable to the needs of large architectural projects.
It was necessary to create a different production process to carry out the project, innovating both in the production and the organisation of the work, which meant a big step forwards for the sector insofar as its ability to offer projects of greater added value in an international context.