_birks building _code _hotel fort garry

Cohlmeyer Architecture was engaged to provide a range of services for the hotel as part of an overall upgrading of its premises. These included restoration and repair of damage to the facade and the roof, restoration of an entry, and the addition of a new entry at the rear of the hotel to connect with a new parking structure.

The facade of the hotel had suffered significant deterioration due to a century of weathering, and foundation movement had caused additional cracking. An earlier improperly executed restoration attempt had resulted in further deterioration of the materials. We were called in to find a method to mitigate against additional deterioration, stabilize materials that had been weakened due to weathering, and return the building face to “new” condition.

Our approach to the problem was based upon an understanding of Heritage policy; the practice of minimum of intervention, respect for original detailing and connections, use of original materials wherever possible, and research of original project documentation. We undertook a thorough technical investigation to determine the correct approach to solving a variety of problems, including seasonal movement, bleeding, chalking, loss of adhesion, and repair of upper cornices.

As well, we completed research with a geologist to determine the type of stone used on the building, tracing the original quarry in Northern Indiana which had provided the stone.

We developed a scope-of-work based upon our preliminary investigations of the building, and in discussion and review with contractors and suppliers. Material choices were based upon those which provided optimum life cycle value for the project, overall high quality and aesthetic appearance, and low long-term maintenance.