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06CE - Preserving McGill University’s Downtown Campus

07 May 2014 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM

3 ConEd Learning Hours

This session will be offered again Thursday, May 08, 2014 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Course Outline

The presentation will give participants the opportunity to view, first hand, the McGill University campus and its magnificent buildings (1835 to 1925) via a guided tour.  A lecture will follow presenting the findings of an exhaustive analysis which was conducted by FGMDA in 1996 based on numerous diagnostics and investigation techniques. We will look at the problems encountered, repair strategies which were considered and later implemented, as well as lessons learned from this in-depth investigation, many of which can be applied to any campus buildings, including future McGill campaigns.  Specific topics will include overall building envelope performance, restoration of slated and copper roofs, traditional wood windows and stone masonry.  

The tour and the lecture will be conducted by conservation architects Matteo Cendamo and Giovanni Dioadati, both of whom have been involved in the rehabilitation of McGill campus buildings since the beginning in 1997.

NOTE The McGill University campus is a 10-minute walk from the hotel where the OAA Annual Conference will take place.  No special equipment is required for touring the McGill campuses, although good walking shoes and weather appropriate clothing are recommended.  The walking tour will take one and a half hour, followed by a one and a half hour lecture, including a questions and answer period at the end, a total of three hours.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the historic evolution of the Campus, of its different buildings types and of the related envelope problem
  2. Understand the design / decision making philosophy employed - based on the Standards and Guidelines for Conserving Historic Places in Canada
  3. Review diagnostic and investigation techniques used in the projects
  4. Review the conservation strategies employed to rehabilitate historic building envelope components with Slate and metal roofing, Stone masonry and Wood windows


Senior Architect and Associate of Fournier Gersovitz Moss Drolet et associés architectes

Matteo Cendamo is a graduate of McGill University where he earned a Bachelor of Science (Physics) in 1982 and a Bachelor of architecture in 1987. He has been with FGMDA since 1998 and was appointed one of its associates in 2009. He brings 27 years of experience to all projects on which he collaborates. 

Matteo began his career working on large buildings in Montreal, such as the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre) and Canada Place. He has since then developed an expertise in the management of heritage conservation projects in urban settings. His dual training in architecture and physical sciences enables him to approach building materials in terms of their properties, dynamic action within the building envelope and against the conditions to which they are subjected. As a Project Architect, he works closely with Project Managers in the planning and implementation of projects, from risk analysis to costing, surveys and drawing specifications, scheduling, quality assurance/control and reporting, developing technical solutions wherever needed.

GIOVANNI (JOHN) DIODATI, Sr. Architect – Sr. Associate
Bachelor of Architecture, McGill University, 1990

Giovanni Diodati earned a bachelor of architecture from McGill University in 1990. With over 23 years of professional experience, Mr. Diodati plays a key role at Fournier Gersovitz Moss Drolet et associés architectes (FGMDA) as a specialist in materials conservation issues and in traditional construction techniques. He is in charge of building envelope restoration, restoration and rehabilitation projects with the firm, overseeing a group of specialised architects and participating in all project phases from the initial diagnosis to completion and in some cases, the long-term building monitoring and maintenance programs. He has been an associate with FGMDA since 1999.

ROBERT STANLEY, Director, Project Management, Facilities Operations and Development, McGill University

Robert Stanley obtained his Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University in 1973 and has been a member of l’Ordre des architectes du Québec since 1976. Upon obtaining his certification he cofounded and ran a building conservation architectural practice until 1991 at which time he joined McGill University’s project management team as a senior project manager. In 2007 he was appointed Director of Project Management of the Facilities Operations and Development, University Services. He leads a team of 34 dedicated staff members that manage over 9 million square feet of Canada’s most significant and historically important buildings.