Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Maurice Savoie Concrete Mural Treatment - Memorial University, St. John's, Canada

G.A. Hickman Mural, Saint John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Memorial University

Following a detailed assessment in May 2017, CSI carried out extensive treatment of a 1966 Maurice Savoie concrete mural at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, Canada. The mural is comprised of a decorative cementitious mortar, and incorporates biomorphic forms and references to nature depicted in raised and incised sculptural forms, colored gravel and splashes of pigmented mortar. The work had developed conditions that are typical of aging concrete, specifically spalling of embedded rebar, and the resulting fracturing of the mortar, atmospheric soiling, and biological activity.

CSI conservators performed a series of treatments to clean and stabilize the mural. Biological growth was killed and removed from the surface, carefully preserving the pigmented mortar in the process. Exposed rebar was stripped of corrosion products and treated with corrosion inhibitors. Cracks and areas of loss where the original mortar had fractured and fallen were repaired with compatible mortar materials. A migrating corrosion inhibitor was applied to the mural to help slow the deterioration of the internal rebar, and a water resistant coating was applied to help prevent water ingress in order to preserve the mural over the years to come.