||Plastering and Painting
||Flooring on Ground Level
||Preservation of Timber
||Cleaning of Walls
Much of the restoration activities have been carried out on the roof structures, rainwater goods, plastering and painting, re-moulding, flooring (ground level) and preservation of timber. The main principle here is not only to recapture a sense of the past but to preserve, conserve and restore as much of the existing fabric of its original condition or situation to achieve this end. As every restoration or conservation project is tackled differently, the Syed Alatas Mansion project (located on Armenian Street, Penang, Malaysia) has considered several approaches including structural analysis, proven techniques, experiments and innovations of building materials.
Pre-treatment of termite attacks was applied to new trusses while the old ones have been preserved by a chemical process of applying special solutions on timber surfaces using brush or spray. Insulation wool and aluminum sheets were introduced above the ceiling to reduce the heat trapped under the roof. In addition, ridges were replaced and given a new mortar underneath.
Fascia boards were replaced by new ones but maintaining their existing pattern. However, the top part of the new boards follows the shape of the tiles above and the height has been increased to allow new gutters to fit in. Canvas sheets were used to cover the building during the restoration of the roof tiles.
Flashing and capping are quite important and should be considered in preventing water penetration. Double-flashing is used to replace the existing cement. This is carried out by fixing one flashing to the wall and the other to the roof truss. This also prevents the movement of the roof tiles as the lower flashing follows their shape. Capping of pilaster bases with lead material prevents water penetration and protects from stains on mouldings and other surfaces underneath. Copper rivets and welding were applied to every corner.
There are two types of mouldings used in the restoration of the mansion. Firstly, the in-situ method which is basically for any broken parts of the existing mouldings. This is carried out with either using basic tools or specially made frames. Secondly, the on-table technique which uses latex model to recreate the missing parts. For example, latex models were used to form keystones and other decorative mouldings around windows and doors. Lime wash has been reapplied to the existing walls to allow the building to breathe. Two coatings of lime were used on the walls including white colour for the first coating and lime wash with pigment for the second one. Based on the existing coatings, it was decided to use light blue colour for the interior and yellow for the exterior. The walls were then allowed to dry naturally for two months. A bluish colour was applied to the pilaster mouldings.
Timber has been used for roof structures, staircases, doors and fanlights. Chengal and Balau timber were used mainly for doors and fascia boards. It is important to mention that the floorboards and beams at upper level are in good condition and that there is no necessary work to be carried out. However, preservation of timber was only applied to decayed timber including roof trusses and door jambs. For instance, door jambs were decayed due to the existence of high moisture content. This was carried out by cutting and removing the decayed parts (at an angle of 45) and fixing them up with new timber. Then, the door jambs were repainted with dark green colour to match with the existing ones.
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Copyright © 1996 HBP of USM
Last Updated on 14 January 1996