ICS has been involved in conserving both interior and exterior elements of Old Parliament House for many years. We were recently commissioned to conserve the 7 copper alloy clad windows located along the front of the building. Created and installed in the 1920's by renowned window maker H & E Sidgreaves, the windows feature two different styles - arched and rectangular. Examples of similar copper-cladding systems made by H & E Sidgreaves from around the same era can be seen at the David Jones and State Theatre buildings in Sydney, and the Paragon Cafe in Katoomba.
Despite having received minimal maintenance over their lifetime, the windows were in remarkably good condition. Nevertheless, they had various stability and aesthetic issues relating to their age and exposure to the elements.
Scope of Works
A variety of conservation treatment and maintenance works were carried out to the windows, including the following:
- Removed copper alloy decorative panels from all windows (except one) to allow for inspection of timber substrate.
- Replaced degraded/water-damaged timber and chipboard with marine plywood and secured with solid brass, slotted round-head wood screws with patinated heads.
- Repaired joints and cracks in the copper alloy cladding using a modern silicone sealant and adhesive, which was colour-matched to the cladding.
- Treated the patina of the copper alloy cladding using a combination of washing, controlled abrasive cleaning and chemical paint stripping. After cleaning off the paint and dirt, the patina that had developed over the history of the building could be seen much more easily.
- Re-fitted the glazing in all windows, cleaning out old putty and replacing it with new coloured putty to match the copper alloy cladding. The original glass and beading was retained and reinstalled in its original locations.
of Australian Democracy
Building Conservation / Object Conservation
Arched window - After treatment
Rectangular window - After treatment
During treatment - Adhesive foam being removed
Segment of rectangular window - Before treatment
Segment of rectangular window - After treatment