The Ernest Cormier Building is a iconic heritage landmark in Old Montreal. Designed in the Beaux-Arts tradition by Ernest Cormier, Louis-Auguste Amos and Charles Jewett Saxe, the building was completed in 1926 as Montreal’s main courthouse, and currently houses the Quebec Court of Appeal as well as the offices of the Société québecoise des infrastructures (SQI). The architectural mandate included the structural stabilization of the monumental cornices and limestone facades as well as the restoration of its historic steel windows. Additional thermal performance was achieved through the systematic introduction of robust double-glazed interior sashes throughout the building. A minimal intervention approach was adopted to reinstate the signature appearance and improve the structural stability of this important heritage building. Particular challenges included the treatment of the building’s historic stone cladding, which was structurally bound to a cast-in-place internal concrete wall. A creative approach was also required to safely stabilize the building’s monumental and character-defining cornices in a dense urban context. Originally designated for replacement, the steel windows were instead carefully restored with discreet long-term performance improvements. The new interior sashes, which were successfully installed with minimal disturbance to the building occupants, were carefully selected to be imperceptible from the exterior and to maximize natural light penetration.
List the criteria that guided the minimal intervention approach to limestone restoration
Describe the structural approach required to safely stabilise large overhanging stone components.
Describe the challenges inherent to working with a hybrid masonry/concrete building shell.
Describe the operations required to rehabilitate historic steel windows