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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

Circular quay railway station 



Circular Quay Railway Station - Historic Terracotta Conservation 


Degnan Constructions for Railcorp 


Building Conservation  


In 2013 ICS cleaned and repaired the glazed terracotta cladding units located on various walls throughout Circular Quay Railway Station. The terracotta is part of the original fabric of the station, and as such, reflects its historic structure and layout. ICS worked on an area of approximately 600 square meters of terracotta, which included escalator areas, staircase areas, platform walls and lower concourse columns. The terracotta units were generally dirty, with various stains and residues that had accumulated over time. Some of the grout was failing or had cracked, and some units had been removed or damaged during previous modifications to the station. Past repairs had discoloured, and required replacing or recolouring. There was also a need to remove remnant fixings as well as many signs erected throughout the years that the station has been in operation.


ICS restored the glazed terracotta cladding units to a more stable and aesthetically pleasing finish by undertaking the following tasks:

  • Removal of remnant fixings with a core drill
  • Cleaning all tiles with industrial steam cleaners to remove the build-up of grime and dust to the glazed units
  • Patch repairs, including filling, sanding back, colour and glaze matching of the new material to existing glazed units
  • Fabrication and installation of matching artificial terracotta units (painted cast concrete) to replace badly damaged and missing units in the lower concourse area
  • Repair of grouted joints
  • Resealing of movement joints


        Circular Quay - BT
        Before Treatment   

        Circular Quay - AT
        After Treatment

        Circular Quay - DT
        During Treatment

  Circular Quay - Filling drill holes
  Filling of Drill Holes