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1930s Wrexham Shop Refurbished Into a Church

1930s Wrexham Shop Refurbished Into a Church
31 May 2022
 

An iconic 1930s former retail unit has been transformed into a church and community centre within the new city of Wrexham.

The project has been named “Best Public or Community Building in Wales” at the recent Local Authority Building Control Awards.

This prestigious award was the culmination of three years’ restoration work of Hope Street by Lawray Architects, Wrexham. It was the former home of a Burton’s Clothing store and is now a vibrant contemporary Christian church and Community Centre.

 

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The client’s brief was to make the building welcoming and hospitable; bright and informal – a space where people from all walks of life – whatever their experience of faith or church – can come as they are and feel at ease.

Standing in the heart of the newly titled seventh city of Wales, Wrexham, the impressive three-storey building provides high-end facilities to both Christians and the wider community.

 

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Picture: a photograph of the exterior of the church. Image Credit: Phillip Roberts Photography

 

A COVID-19 Lockdown Build

 

The refurbishment work on Hope Street was carried out by fit-out specialists Spatial Environments and The Simmonds Group in March 2020,  at the beginning of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ex-retail building underwent comprehensive restoration repairs and refurbishment work which included all new M&E, extensive structural steelwork, a new internal primary access staircase spanning all floors and a full-height masonry lift shaft that was installed to enable people to reach every floor from street level easily.

In addition, repairs and renovations were done to the outside of the 1930s building in keeping with its original character and bringing it back to life with a new façade and windows, a new shop front and a second entrance on an adjacent side. The finishing touches on the internal design included plenty of exposed brick, duct and steelwork, which gave the finished building a light, airy and contemporary feel.

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Picture: a photograph of the interior of the church, showing a coffee bar and a seating area. Image Credit: Phillip Roberts Photography

 

Lawray Architects submitted planning approval for the modifications of the external features and a change of use application to Wrexham County Borough Council.

David Hughes, a Director at Lawray Architects, said: “We are proud of the many award-winning contributions we have made to Wrexham’s built environment over the last 40 years and are committed to finding sustainable solutions that overcome the challenges facing town centre development. We see the Hope Street project as integral to that aim and congratulate the Diocese of St Asaph and the Church Revitalisation Trust for their vision.”

 

“Without doubt, this building is going to be transformative and a cornerstone to the local community and beyond. To say we managed to renovate this in 12 months during the worst pandemic in a lifetime is a testament to our team of contractors, the completeness of Lawray’s designs and their unwavering willingness to work with us seamlessly.“

–Phil Simmonds

MD, Spatial Environments & The Simmonds Group

 

Managing Director of Spatial Environments & The Simmonds Group, Phil Simmonds, himself a Wrexham local, added: “…Having grown up in Wrexham, I am extremely proud that we have been given the opportunity to help, in some small part, to restore the town to its former glory.

“Without doubt, this building is going to be transformative and a cornerstone to the local community and beyond. To say we managed to renovate this in 12 months during the worst pandemic in a lifetime is a testament to our team of contractors, the completeness of Lawray’s designs and their unwavering willingness to work with us seamlessly.“

Picture: a photograph of the interior of the church, showing a coffee bar and a seating area. Image Credit: Phillip Roberts Photography

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 31 May 2022

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