The Grade II* listed Wolverhampton Civic and Wulfrun Halls were built in the late 1930s, designed by Lyons and Israel. The Civic Hall is a large concert space and dance hall, while Wulfrun Hall was designed for chamber concerts and theatre performances. Today the halls are primarily used as popular music venues.
In 1996 we won a design competition for a comprehensive £10m upgrade of these important performance spaces. The first phase of our proposed scheme was completed in 2001. This involved increasing the Civic Hall’s capacity and restoring the original spatial qualities of the public areas, which had been subject to piecemeal alterations over the years. Our conservation strategy was to restore the original fabric and finishes wherever possible, while using a complementary palette of modern materials for the new extensions.
Long glass galleries were added on each side of the building. These house two new bars and discreet mezzanines providing additional back of house facilities. The galleries appear to float above the masonry of the original building and at night they become illuminated showcases for the activity within.
By reaching its target capacity of 3,000, Wolverhampton Civic Halls were able to operate in a different league of performance venues, able to attract prestige promoters and substantially increase revenue.