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Belfast City Hall Mosaic Floors – by Diespeker!

We were recently approached by a researcher from Belfast City Hall who was interested in finding out about our connection, as ‘Diespeker Ltd, London’ was listed in the Belfast City Hall Monograph (published 1906) as being the contractors for the mosaic paving.

We were pleased to help out with some information, and, as a result, the following article has recently been published in the City Matters magazine which is distributed to local residents:

“Visitors have been inspired by the splendour of City Hall since it first opened in 1906. Designed by the architect Alfred Brumwell Thomas, he had a great influence over the fittings and finish of the Baroque Revival building’s interiors which famously include marble and stained glass alongside ornate plaster and woodwork.

An aspect easily overlooked however can be found under your feet on the first floor while attending an event or enjoying a tour. The mosaic marble floors along the corridors in our original records of construction are attributed to Diespeker Ltd, London.

Diespeker Ltd is still operating, and its history is an interesting one. Luigi Odorico the owner of a mosaic and terrazzo company in Frankfurt, Germany, employed around one hundred Italian craftsmen. In 1881 he sent his Sales Representative Sigmund Diespeker and leading craftsman Giovanni Mariutto, to survey the market in London with the view of forming a company there. Instead, the two men founded Diespeker & Co. which soon led the field in mosaic and terrazzo work in the UK.

The corridors at City Hall are Roman Cube Marble Mosaic. The marble cubes are usually set in a cement and sand bed in situ, but a quicker method is to glue the cubes on paper off site and after transportation they are placed face down in cement and the whole surface ground and polished removing the paper backing in the process. 117 years later visitors still often comment on the beautiful colours and shine of the corridor floors!”

Written by Kirsty Mairs, Tours & Collection Assistant

If you get the chance to visit Belfast, why not enjoy a guided tour of City Hall – and don’t forget to look down at the paving.

Image Credit: David Stanley

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