The transformation of the Douglas Hotel into the Hotel Rialto is recognized as an important step in revitalizing Victoria’s downtown core. The original façade incorporated 11 columns in two sizes that were clad with white glazed terracotta tiles.
Architectural terracotta has been used as a building material for thousands of years. Many historical landmarks in our downtown cores are clad with this beautiful material.
This old world building product is cast from clay, glazed and finished in kilns. Terra cotta components add great color and detail to a building, but are also highly susceptible to cracking and damage from impacts or freeze and thaw cycles. Modern building materials such as precast concrete, can provide the look, shape, feel and appearance of terracotta, while offering superior durability to extreme weather conditions.
In most geographical locations, heritage structures need to be seismically upgraded. Materials such as Ductal by Lafarge, with its tremendous compressive and flexural strength, can help engineers develop fastening systems.
Designers, facility owners, and community planners are under tremendous pressure to preserve historical buildings, but often have extremely limited budgets. Mend Restoration and our precast concrete expertise can help meet project deadlines and offer a cost effective solution to terracotta replacement. Precast concrete does not shrink because it only requires air drying. Not needing to design for this shrinkage factor, results in the reduced cost of precast when compared to terracotta.
Wherever your terracotta restoration project is in the world, give us a call to consider using ultra high performance concrete and the Szolyd Development custom precast concrete design and manufacturing team.