Old Parliament House (OPH, and formerly the Provisional Parliament House) is a nationally significant heritage building located in Canberra's parliamentary zone. Designed by architect John Smith Murdoch (1862-1945) and a team of assistants from the Department of Works and Railways, the building was intended to be neither temporary nor permanent – only to be a ‘provisional’ building that would serve the needs of Parliament for a maximum of 50 years. In the end, it was home to the Federal Parliament for 61 years, from 1927 to 1988.
Today, OPH is home to the Museum of Australian Democracy, an enriching institution that informs the public of Australia's constitutional, political and social history.
ICS has been involved in conserving both interior and exterior elements of OPH for many years. In 2015 we were commissioned to conserve the two painted coats of arms (one British, one Australian) that sit atop the front façade.
Both coat of arms were last treated in the early 1990s. Since then, their paint and gilding had deteriorated considerably. After many years of exposure to the elements, significant amounts of dust, dirt, pollution and bird droppings had accumulated on both structures, accelerating their deterioration.
Overview The Petersham Horse Trough, made out of precast concrete, was erected in the 1930s by the Bills Trust. A dog trough is attached at ground level on the right side. A terrazzo plaque, situated prominently at the centre-front, reads ‘Donated by Annis and George Bills, Australia’. Around 700 troughs were installed throughout Australia by the Bills Trust in the...
Overview ICS has had a long and major association with the conservation of the huts and contents of the sites from the Heroic Era of Antarctic Exploration (1899-1916). Beginning with Carsten Borchgrevink's first winter in 1899 at Cape Adare and finishing with Shackleton's second expedition in 1917, there were five expeditions in total, with Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton...