Spencer R. Higgins, Architect Incorporated

Library of Parliament  
Parliament Hill, Ottawa  

The Library of the Parliament of Canada is considered to be the premier heritage building in Canada, and the only surviving part of the original high-Victorian parliamentary building built in the 1860's. The building continues to serve its original function as the Parliamentary Library for both the Senate and House of Commons.

In 1998, the firm of Ogilvie and Hogg, Desnoyers Mercure, Spencer R. Higgins and Michael Lundholm, Architects in Joint Venture, was retained by Public Works and Government Services Canada to design and oversee a project to conserve, rehabilitate and upgrade the building for a design life-span of 50 years.

The conservation aspects of the project included an extensive list of sub-projects that encompassed a wide range of issues from as-found structural drawings to fine-art conservation. The firm of Spencer R. Higgins Architect primarily directed the masonry, roofing, ironwork, glazing* and woodwork conservation aspects of the project and acted as conservation specialist advisor for the work of the other members of the team.

The project was completed in late 2006 with a final construction cost of $70 million and final project cost of $135 million. All work was executed to the highest conservation standards and to the full satisfaction of PWGSC.

Our affiliated conservation laboratory ArconTEST provided a full time on-site conservator and developed and tested innovative formulations for the hydraulic-lime based grouts and mortars used on the building as well as carrying out non-destructive testing and investigation of the masonry.

Parliamentary Library, Ottawa
2006 (Photo:Grogan)

An overview and video of the completed project is accessible at www.parliamenthill.gc.ca

*Window system manufacturer: Soheil Mosun Limited.