Undertaking the western façade and dome conservation of a Melbourne landmark and cultural icon such as the State Library of Victoria, a magnificent example of a 19th-century building, was a privilege and a challenge, with works proceeding while the building received thousands of visitors each day.
Scaffold and man lift access with the scaffold to the drum of the dome erected without any weight being transferred to the structure below, while completely protecting the surrounding glazed roofs of the library beneath.
All site accommodation and material storage was situated on a specially designed and engineered scaffold built to span over the rooftops of the Bindon Building and the Wheeler Centre.
Western elevation restoration generally included rectification of the sandstone and rendered façades, replacing damaged stones by means of indents and carving missing or beyond-repair elements.
Running new rendered moulding in situ with an application of pigmented wash coat to all rendered surfaces.
Portico roofing restored with new slates and lead flashings
Façade lighting installed using LED RGB system to the western facades and returns to north-west and south-west wings.
Dome repairs included removal and replacement of the existing membrane system in stages ensuring protection of the valuable collections located within the library below during the demolition and reinstatement phases, using an Equus screed and torch-on system.
Increasing the longevity of the existing hand-formed zinc guttering to the dome roof by applying a Wolfin membrane and an improved stormwater drainage system, including new copper downpipes to dome drum and flashings to the surrounds of the annulus slab.
Drummy, decayed and missing rendered components restored and replaced, mouldings run in situ and items cast and pinned. All rendered surfaces received application of a pigmented washcoat.
Steel and timber windows painted in specified coating system.