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Architecture49 working on Rehabilitation of the East Block at Parliament Hill

Architecture49 is proud to have been awarded the Rehabilitation of East Block at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

"Rehabilitating the East Block—Parliament Hill’s most intact building and one of the world’s best examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture—is an intricate task. Seismic experts, designers, heritage stonemasons and artisans are required to carry out the specialized tasks, much of which require work to be done by hand using old-world tools.

While the interior of the East Block is in good condition, the exterior requires an overhaul from foundation to roof. The first section of the exterior to be rehabilitated was the Northwest Tower, which forms part of the original wing, built in 1867. This pilot project, which was completed between 2011 and 2013, has contributed valuable lessons learned for the continued rehabilitation of the exterior of this building, which is adorned with some of the most remarkable examples of stone- and ironwork craftsmanship on the Hill and across the country.

The initial planning work to rehabilitate the remainder of the exterior of the 1867 wing is underway. The wing has not undergone major work since the 1970s and is displaying signs of deterioration, such as cracked stones, worn carvings, corroded ironwork and damage from water infiltration. The prime consultant has been engaged to analyze the condition of the wing and to plan the required work, which is anticipated to begin in 2017.

Work to be undertaken includes:

rehabilitation of the stone masonry;
seismic reinforcement;
structural reinforcement;
rehabilitation of the foundation, including drainage;
window and door repair;
installation of new roofing; and
conservation of the ornamental metal work.

The building, which currently houses both Senators and Members of Parliament, will remain partially occupied while the work is underway. Members of Parliament will be relocated to the Wellington Building in 2016, once its rehabilitation is completed. The areas emptied will then be used as swing space, enabling work to be undertaken in a staged approach within the partially occupied building. The work, which will be carried out by heritage masons using traditional techniques and tools, is expected to be completed by 2022.

The remaining work required to complete the full rehabilitation of the East Block, which will encompass the building’s interior and the exterior of the wing that was added in 1910, is slated to be undertaken once the rehabilitation of the Centre Block is completed. This will require the building to be vacated."

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