Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

CSI Lead Conservator for Canadian Parliament Building

[11-29-12]  Ottawa, ON- The rehabilitation of the West Block is an important step in the Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct, and it is one of the major projects being carried out on Parliament Hill. The building is in critical need of rehabilitation due to the extent of its deterioration. It is necessary to restore this nineteenth-century heritage building to provide the required space so that the Centre Block can be emptied and restored in the coming years.

The project includes the stabilization of the most critical exterior portions of the building, the removal of interior hazardous material, interior renovations, and the construction of the courtyard infill to serve as the interim home of the House of Commons’ Chamber and parliamentary functions during the renovation of the Centre Block. Additionally, Phase 1 of a Visitor Welcome Centre will be constructed in parallel with the rehabilitation of the West Block. The new structure will provide visitor welcome services, visitor screening services, and shipping and receiving facilities for the West Block. [...]

Rehabilitating the West Block

The building requires major rehabilitation due to its deterioration. In order to ensure the preservation of this national heritage building, extensive exterior conservation and interior renovations are required.

Exterior work involves:

  • rehabilitating the masonry and exterior walls;
  • dismantling and rebuilding deteriorated areas of masonry;
  • repointing mortar joints;
  • replacing windows and the copper roof;
  • rehabilitating the decorative ironwork; and
  • rehabilitating the West Block’s towers—the Southeast Tower, the North Towers, the Mackenzie Tower and the Laurier Tower.

Interior work involves:

  • removing hazardous material;
  • upgrading the mechanical, electrical and life safety systems;
  • renovating the interior; and
  • constructing the courtyard infill.

Status of the work:

  • The full masonry restoration of the Southeast Tower and the North Towers, which were the least stable areas of the building, has been completed.
  • The demolition of the courtyard structure and the removal of hazardous material in the interior of the building are underway.
  • The rehabilitation of the Mackenzie Tower is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012.   

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