Brick cleaning Victorian facade
Located on the corner of Dublin’s Trinity Street and St Andrew’s Street we were delighted to be given the opportunity to bring back to life this highly decorative Victorian brick façade. PMAC were subcontracted by Sirius Construction to carry out all conservation works to the Polychromatic façade. We called in the expertise of Lime Master Brian Tobin for the detailed lime restoration works.
Due to its age and location the façade was badly contaminated. Our initial task was to gently clean the entire surface to reveal the extent of repairs. We used a combination of TORC and DOFF conservation cleaning systems which gently cleaned without brightening the bricks.
Restoring the decorative friezes at parapet level
The client called for the brick cleaning of the Victorian facade including the repair and reinstatement of the beautiful decorative plaster cornice at parapet level. The scope included conserving as many of the one hundred and sixty decorative Roman cement friezes as possible as well as the overall preservation of the cornice and recessed soldier course below.
The upper portion of the decorative corbel was completely lost. The first challenge was to find the best examples of the Roman cement friezes and establish which ones could be saved and repaired. Unfortunately some were beyond repair and had to be recast and re-built as a last resort. The best examples of friezes were repaired in situ and used to create moulds for replacements.
The upper section of the corbel was repaired using free hand to match the friezes. From this the 15 meter horse was constructed and the new upper section was run in situ.
The setting up of the runners for the horse was tricky as the building façade had bellied out over time. This was a consideration when building the new parapet wall above.
Once the upper section was run, the repaired and new friezes were fitted. The friezes were designed to interlock between the upper and lower detail on the corbel. The repair between the new and old was blended in using free hand. Once complete, the entire section was coated with a traditional lime wash.
Repointed in Lime mortar
Meanwhile our team raked out all mortar joints by hand and re-pointed in lime Heritage Brush Technique. The brickwork was in considerable good condition, 100 bricks were replaced and a small portion were repaired using St Astier lime mortar.
The result is stunning and we are very proud to have conserved another piece of our built heritage for future generations.