A heritage block of flats in the centre of Walsall has been unveiled after a £1 million refurbishment.
Warewell Close, on Lower Rushall Street, one of the first blocks of flats to be built in the town, has under gone a complete external refit by Midlands landlord whg.
And after nearly a year of work, the end of the mammoth project was marked with a celebration for customers on 2nd October.
The iconic 2 five storey blocks of flats, which were built in the 1950’s in a post-art deco style, featured unusual projecting balconies and detailed architecture typical of the era.
whg worked with Wates Living Space to refurbish the entire blocks, install external wall insulation to help keep homes warmer and reduce customers' fuel bills. Brand new windows and doors were also replaced to completely transform the flats, while still remaining sympathetic and true to the original design – though with an honest contemporary approach to the new architecture.
As part of the end-of-works celebration Wates donated a cheque for £6000 to whg’s chosen charity Cancer Research.
Project Manager Dorthe Jones said: “Warewell Close was the start of high-rise living in Walsall, and a move away from standard two and three bedroom homes.
“The detailed features and unusual angular balconies reflected the emerging architecture of the team and the New Humanist/Festival style inspired by the work of Frederick Gibberd and Norman & Dawbarn in London. The new development in Walsall was considered a very prestigious building to live in and housed councillors and other dignitaries when it was first built.
“We wanted to keep the iconic architecture while also making the homes more comfortable for our customers and bringing them up to modern fire safety standards.”
Energy Manager Thomas Store added: “Thanks to the refurbishment and the introduction of external wall insulation we are expecting our customers to save somewhere between £115- £230 on their fuel bills each year, which will be a huge help to those living in fuel poverty. Additional advice to lower energy bills has also been provided to customers by whg Energy Champions.”
Features kept during the refurbishment included fluting on the balconies and detailed crowned chimney pots. The buildings are now 100% transformed, and stand out as the flagship project originally intended when the development of the project started.
Working closely with customers has been a key part of the success of the project, with whg installing a new insulated roof and enclosing all of the rear balconies to keep out pigeons following their feedback.