Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Building Envelope Paint Analysis - Canada's Four Corners Building

Canada Four Corners Building, Ottawa, Canada

The Four Corners Building was designed by Ottawa architect, King Arnoldi, and constructed between 1870-71 at the prominent corner of Sparks and Metcalfe Streets in Ottawa Canada. The Four Corners Building was recognized as a Federal Heritage Building in 1986 by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO).  The building maintains dual functionality, currently serving as office space for the Privy Council Office (PCO) in the upper floors, and as retail space at ground level.  

Conservation Solutions, Inc. (CSI) was contracted in 2015 to investigate and document the earliest existing finish colour, record the stratigraphy of subsequent finishes, and provide a commercial colour match to significant surviving finish colors for the elements sampled.   This study was also intended to serve as the foundation for discussions concerning restoration options within the context of a forthcoming building rehabilitation.

CSI examined a total of twenty-six paint samples,: sixteen samples were taken from wood windows/doors, six from wood cornice elements, two from interior wood wall/window elements, two from interior wood/wall window elements, one from a decorative iron hook, and one from a copper window panel.  

The twenty-six samples were prepared and examined at CSI’s laboratory in Forestville, MD.  The results of the testing were submitted in a report to the client, as well as paint swatches representing the closest commercially available colors.