Plan, poster and map treatment

Historical plans are full of town, building and architectural history. Building plans and drawings, which are often one of a kind, are full of ideas of past times. They convey the architect's frame of reference and the constructional development of our towns.

Bad storage, paper of insufficient quality or makeshift repairs with self-adhesive tape often turn plans, maps and posters brittle and unsuitable for further use. Rolled, taped and folded, the documents can no longer be opened without causing any further damage.

We have developed a plan flattening system for processing such documents. It permits us to straighten out large-format and comprehensive collections.

In addition to a large climate chamber with several levels, it has a plan press to smooth out the documents. Targeted application of moisture relieves tension in the rolled or folded documents. The climate chamber permits even and targeted moisturising at a relative humidity of 85–95%. Gentle moisturisation retains ink and colour stability.

Moisturisation also makes the paper more elastic, until it can be unrolled without causing any further damage. In the second step, we smooth the documents in the plan press between special press materials. The unrolled and cleaned sheets are dried under pressure. Folds and edges are smoothed out.

For stabilisation, we close missing bits and cracks in the smoothed document. Very fragile plans are laminated with Japanese tissue paper to protect from further degradation and loss.

Historic plans, maps and posters are now freely accessible again.