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Team fights to save walls of historic Qasr Al Hosn

Fears moisture could destroy ancient Abu Dhabi structure

Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn

Painstaking work is being carried out by conservation experts in a desperate bid to stop corrosion destroying the historic coral and sea-stone walls of Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi.

According to a report in The National newspaper, a team of historians and architects is removing parts of the white facade that was placed over the original walls more than 30 years ago.

It is understood the problems have been caused by the building's air conditioning system, installed in the 1980s, which traps moisture between the masonry and the more recent render, made of gypsum and cement.

And it is feared the resulting dampness caused will ruin the original coral surface.

Mark Powell Kyffin, head of architecture at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said: "It's a methodical process and we're working as carefully as we possibly can.

"Our job is to ensure that this building is conserved to the highest possible standards, so that both present and future generations can appreciate the evolution of the fort and its historical and cultural significance."

Qasr Al Hosn, the symbolic birthplace of Abu Dhabi, has been closed for several years to allow restoration work to be carried out. However, it is hoped it will reopen in the near future as a historical attraction.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019