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 One of the grandest surviving buildings in Australia, the 19th century Sydney Town Hall is a great example of the Victorian/Beaux-Arts. It is also thought to be the only non-religious city building to retain its original function and interiors since it was built more than 130 years ago. The building is listed on the NSW heritage register. The Grand...
Almost a century old, the solid jarrah doors welcoming visitors into Canberra's Old Parliament House are an integral part of not only the building but national heritage, bearing witness to evolving eras of politics and being the physical backdrop of iconic moments in Australian history. Designed in 1924 by Commonwealth Chief Architect John Smith Murdoch, the doors were in place...