The Convent Façade Restoration
Our Lady of Sorrows Convent, Pietà
Completed in 2021
Photo 1: General view of the façade; note the stone balcony and the cement rendering on the lower parts of the facade
Photo 2: Note the barred loggia and the apertures on the side elevation, which were in gold-coloured aluminium
Photo 3: Close-up view of the lower part of the main façade
Photo 4: Finished works at the side elevation
Photo 5: Finished works at the Convent
As can be easily attained from the photographs, the Convent was generally in a sound condition prior to the commencement of works. The façade was mostly intact with minor areas of deterioration and cementitious rendering covering parts of the façade.
The conservation rationale was primarily to restore the building and to preserve as much of the existing fabric as possible. Certain routine interventions on the façades of the Convent were, however, clearly necessary, such as repointing of missing joints and the removal of non-historic renders and metal fixings using hand-held tools.
Stone replacement was carried out in some areas as per best trade practice using new franka masonry blockwork which will, by time, weather homogeneously. Other areas, which were deteriorated and back-weathered, were treated by means of plastic repair.
The surface rendering was also carefully removed using hand-held tools.
Finally, general cleaning of the façade took place in order to remove black crusts, where time-gained stable patina was retained as much as possible. All existing timber apertures as well as wrought-iron elements were restored whilst all other aluminium apertures were replaced by timber ones. The non-historic balcony at first floor level was eventually reinstated with a base consisting of stone slabs supported by stone corbels and a new wrought iron railing.
This project, which continued enhancing the great historical value of the property, has been financed by the Development Planning Fund of the Planning Authority, with the collaboration of Pietà Local Council.