A century after construction of the building first commenced, Old Parliament House stands strong as an Australian national heritage icon that housed federal parliament between 1927 to 1988. Today, it is home to the Museum of Australian Democracy, telling the story of Australia’s history and democracy.
The classic, functional architecture of the building uses square patterns, symmetry and strong lines as a motif, guiding the usage of the various internal spaces as well as the details in the furniture. This orderliness extends to the building’s exterior, including the gardens, terraces and decor. The rooms at Old Parliament House are open to the public for special functions and venue hire, allowing people to experience and interact firsthand with the architecturally designed halls and chambers.
Old Parliament House was originally intended to be a provisional building, to house Parliament for a maximum of 50 years. However, various extensions, renovations and reparation works over the years have allowed the building to surpass its intended lifespan.
In 2021, external refurbishment works were undertaken at Old Parliament House, including roofing repairs and the installation of new paved surfaces on the outdoor rear verandahs. The refurbishment works were overseen by Manteena Security and completed by Ranger Projects, who worked carefully using small machinery, hand labour and specific weighted equipment to prevent any damage to the building’s structure.
To ensure longevity and ease of ongoing maintenance, the designers opted to use pavers installed on a pedestal system to create the new flooring of the outdoor terraces. Laying pavers on pedestal supports is a modern installation methodology that offers a wealth of benefits, such as the ability to conceal services in the void underneath the pavers, and to incorporate water drainage grades at the sub-base, allowing the paved surface to be completely level.
When using pedestal paving, no grout is required and pavers are simply lifted into place on top of the pedestal supports. This results in a cleaner, neater finish and avoids issues such as grout cracking or deterioration over time. The use of a pedestal system also makes ongoing maintenance more convenient, as individual pavers can be lifted off by hand to provide access to the required services underneath.
One potential concern posed by paving installed on pedestals is the safety implications that could arise from paver breakage or failure. Pedestal supports typically have adjustable heights and can range from 15mm up to 900mm high, creating a large distance from the paved level to the sub-base. Any paver failure from heavy impact loads could potentially result in pedestrians falling through to the sub-base, which could cause severe injury.
Anston Architectural Products’ reinforced pedestal pavers, in the cool grey colour Atlas, were selected for the terrace upgrades at Old Parliament House. Anston is unique in offering the only Australian product that includes an in-built safety feature within their pedestal pavers, providing an extra layer of protection against pedestrian injury. A steel framework within the body of each pedestal paver ensures that any cracking of the paver does not result in complete breakage, even when subjected to a strong impact. Without this embedded safety feature, pavers are at risk of breaking and dropping down to the sub-base immediately upon impact.
For more information on Anston’s purpose-designed paving range for pedestal system installations, check out the links below.