Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Before and After

Facade windows with mastic fixed, sanded and primed and painted making the whole front look cleaner and lighter. I have yet to see if a kalean with lime paint is actually necessary or not as the brick is quite attractive in its fully restored state. 

'Someone, he added, ought to draw up a catalogue of types of buildings, listed in order of size, and it would be immediately obvious that domestic buildings of less than normal size- the little cottage in the fields, the hermitage, the lock-keeper's lodge, the pavilion for viewing the landscape, the children's bothy in the garden - are those that offer us at least a semblance of peace, whereas no one in his right mind could truthfully say that he liked a vast ediface such as the Palace of Justice on the old Gallows Hill in Brussels' 

Spoken by Austerlitz in W. G. Sebald's book of the same name

Reclaimed bricks from site sorted and cleaned ready to use for the outside courtyard floor

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Facelift at 53

20th century cement rendered facade before stripping
work begins........

Loose bricks are taken out.....
Hidden cracks appear......

Facade is washed and cleaned revealing the old bricks typical for 15th-17th cen. on the left.

Bricks are replaced and holes rebuilt with similar old bricks
Cracks are consolidated with long metal pins and strong mortar

The consolidated facade with replaced and remodeled bricks in places.

Pointing in lime mortar and replacing 20th century cement window sills with traditional terracotta tiles.

The finished brickwork awaiting the replacement of the guttering.
Working with the professional help of Aquastra and following the advice and instructions of the city department this modest facade has been finally renovated and should last for quite a few years more.  The putty in the windows has been sanded and cleaned off and where it is weak or cracked replaced and consolidated with new putty and leveled off ready for painting. If I do eventually kalean the facade in a soft broken white or cream and paint the plinth grey, or if I leave the facade as brickwork - I will need to paint the windows with a colour that will look right with either finish. I think the answer is to take inspiration from traditional solutions. Similar windows in the Beguinage in both brick and painted facades have a soft satin/matt black on the thick wood frames and white on the putty and thin glazing bars. I will do the same but use a softer,warmer dark grey instead of black,which I will use for the door. The effect will not be too different to what is there now.The pictures below give some idea of potential colour schemes.

Beguinage House
House along the Sint-Annarei