Wrexham County Borough Council
Ainsley Gommon Architects, together with Read Construction, worked with Wrexham County Borough Council to deliver the refurbishment and remodelling of Crown Buildings in Wrexham.
The building was originally built in the 1960’s and provided four storeys of office accommodation. The brief required the remodelling and refurbishment of the building to meet the council’s current and future needs, whist incorporating much needed improvements in environmental performance. The upper floors were refurbished to provide flexible office accommodation with open plan areas, individual offices, meeting rooms and break out spaces, designed to accommodate modern working methods. On the ground floor, a new main entrance into the building was introduced from the north, addressing the main public Waterworld car park. This leads into a new centre for the provision of social services, with fully accessible spaces providing community and specialist services to the public, including ‘Changing Places’ facilities. A small extension is provided to provide café facilities for visitors to the building.
Externally, a scheme of elevation enhancement was introduced, with new PPC aluminium double glazed windows, combined with PPC aluminium rainscreen panels in two copper colours, fitted over the concrete panels in a random pattern to break up the massing of the elevation. The new main entrance is highlighted in a colour reminiscent of oxidised copper, picking up on design cues from the nearby Waterworld building. Standing seam metal cladding has been installed over the existing brick finish to the central core, and installed on an angle at the gables, with a feature chevron providing interest and a subtle way-finding device to draw people around to the new entrance. A new roof finish and PV panels are provided, with all these measures helping to improve the thermal performance of the building from the original EPC D rating to an EPC A rating.
Externally, the existing car park was resurfaced and a feature ‘public realm’ space is provided to the north of the building to draw people in off Chester Street and reinforce the pedestrian route round to the new main entrance.
The scheme was successfully handed over to Wrexham County Borough Council in November 2021.
Photographs are courtesy of Read Construction.