Green Street Depot

The redevelopment of the existing Waste Transfer Facility to enable the depot to operate with greater efficiency whilst undertaking refurbishment to introduce a new Customer Contact Centre and Hub together with additional office accommodation and welfare facilities for Wyre Forest District Council.

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Originally constructed in 1872 by the Kidderminster Corporation for the pumping and treatment of the towns water, the locally listed buildings at Green Street Depot in the centre of Kidderminster, have been sensitively restored and reanimated by Sjölander da Cruz Architects to create new offices for the districts Operational Services Department together with a Customer Contact Hub providing a new one-stop-shop were local residents can gain advice from the Revenue, Benefits and Finance teams.

Located within the Green Street Conservation Area adjacent to the River Stour these once essential civic buildings had suffered from years of neglect, with their original function relocated to the edge of the town as it expanded prior to WW2 the remaining structures had been repurposed in recent years for storage and the provision of low quality office accommodation with unsympathetic extensions added to the old pump house during the 1970s.

The depot site houses a complex programme of activities and associated facilities including waste transfer, administration offices, vehicle maintenance workshops, vehicle storage, and parks services all of which were to remain operational during construction. Key to the successful delivery of the buildings was our ability to work in partnership with the client and end users and gain an in depth understanding their needs and methods of working. This enabled us to establish priorities for the project and identify common elements within the brief which could utilise shared support and welfare facilities.

Through the rationalisation of the existing accommodation we were able to justify the removal of the inflexible 1970’s extensions at the front of the site, this immediately reconnected the historic buildings to the Town Centre and Conservation Area, transforming the public face of the site and providing a welcoming and approachable base for both employees and the public to access customer services within the town.

Our sensitive and pragmatic approach to the reuse and retrofit of the existing listed buildings sought to restore and celebrate the character of the original buildings whilst providing high quality, well designed contemporary additions that contrast and complement with the original fabric. Repair has been undertaken in an honest way, ragged and rich raw edges of broken bricks infilled openings and redundant structure have been left as found, leaving the history of change on view.

Where appropriate new services installations have been exposed, utilising galvanised conduit and ductwork, simultaneously aiding the legibility of the building and enhancing the industrial character of the spaces whilst allowing the systems to easily adapt and change to the buildings use as it evolves over time.

Reducing operational costs for the district was a fundamental part of the clients brief and the thermal performance of replaced fabric elements, efficiency of new systems and accessibility of the existing buildings have all been enhanced up to contemporary standards. Wherever possible we sought to introduce the use of natural daylight into the existing spaces, providing a light welcoming environment for the delivery of public services whilst reducing the energy consumption of the existing building.

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Photography by Tom Bird